25 Sep 2019
Students from secondary schools in St Helens were given a taste of what life could be like studying medicine and working for the NHS in an event aimed at inspiring future generations of young people in the borough.
Students from secondary schools in St Helens were given a taste of what life could be like studying medicine and working for the NHS in an event held this week at the Saints stadium aimed at inspiring future generations of young people in the borough.
As part of its ‘Widening Access to Medicine’ programme, Edge Hill University in conjunction with NHS St Helens CCG, St Helens Council and St Helens & Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust put on the event at the Saints rugby stadium on Tuesday 24th September aimed at showing students what studying medicine at the new Edge Hill Medical School (which opens its doors in 2020) will be like and demonstrate a range of other NHS careers available to them. This is part of a drive in St Helens to grow its own medical and healthcare workforce in years to come and give young people in the borough something to aspire to.
Over 250 pupils from secondary schools in St Helens in year 11 interested in future careers in medicine and healthcare attended the event which opened with talks from range of clinicians followed by the opportunity for pupils to visit stalls from a number of clinical areas at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust including radiology, theatres, speech and language therapy and sexual health.
Pat Keeley, Assistant Director of Operations – Clinical Support Services at St Helens & Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Today proved that from humble beginnings young people - with encouragement, direction, hard work and opportunities - can do great things and go far. Today, I hope, has been inspiring to our next generation that they can succeed, that on their own doorstep there are great opportunities for them to engage in a career that gives something back to their own local society as well as their own wellbeing.
We also proved that the staff of our local NHS services are dedicated not only to our patients but to those who will be our next doctors, nurses, therapists and all the supporting professions that make the NHS, the Trust and our partner organisations a great place to work and develop.”
John Waczek, School Effectiveness Advisor at St Helens Council who is advising the new medical school at Edge Hill University on student admissions’ criteria, said: “Today’s event was held at the home of the rugby league leaders, captained by a former St Helens school pupil. The Saints recruit talented and committed local youngsters to become the players who will ensure that the club remains world class and our health service is another outstanding element of which local people can be proud and which provides high quality care. That too will remain first class with our hard working and committed school pupils electing to become health professionals, with exciting career opportunities and serving the community.
“Today’s event displayed the warmth and professionalism of NHS staff and the sheer enthusiasm and inquisitiveness of our young people and it was a delight to be present.”
Professor Sarah O’Brien, Strategic Director People's Services for St Helens Council and Clinical Accountable Officer at NHS St Helens CCG, added: ““We’ve had really good feedback from schools and the students who attended and were definitely encouraged and inspired by all they saw and heard which is great as we look to grow our own medical and healthcare workforce and give young people in the borough something to aspire to.
“We are now looking to run similar events in the future for our young people focusing on other public sector careers including social care and the police.”