Leeds City College student Ellie wins apprenticeship award for NHS work

A Leeds City College student’s work for the NHS during the height of the pandemic has earned her a West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Award

Ellie Caton, who works in Medical Deployment for Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, was named as the Health and Public Service Apprentice of the Year.

Ellie, who completed her Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship with a distinction in April, joined the trust in January 2021, initially providing support in the Intensive Care Unit. She then changed track and ended up working in a human resources team which has helped to ensure medical staffing levels stay safe, despite periods of high absence rates due to Covid-19.

Her important contribution has also been recognised by the trust, which recently promoted her to a  supervisor role.

A just reward for fantastic adaptability

Ellie’s Apprenticeship Assessor Coach at Leeds City College, Beckie Perkin, was full of praise. She said: “Ellie initially worked in the Intensive Care Unit at the height of the pandemic, and found herself facing the challenges associated with managing a ward full of patients suffering from Covid-19.

“Five months in, however, she realised that a patient-facing role did not suit her long-term career aspirations – but she did not want to give up on the apprenticeship. So, with the support of Organisational Learning, Ellie was able to change her placement, leaving the clinical world behind and moving to a position within the HR team.

“There, she found herself having to learn a number of complicated new systems, working with a new team and being exposed to new procedures and legislation. Ellie adapted fantastically well, picking up the tasks required quickly and confidently.

“And over the Christmas period, when staffing levels were low due to Covid-19 and annual leave, she was able to confidently and competently manage the work of her team alone, dealing with queries and requests from a variety of clinicians.”

Proud, happy – and shocked

The ceremony for the inaugural West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards was held at Bradford City FC on 9 June, and co-hosted by BBC Look North presenter, Harry Gration, and the latest winner of The Apprentice, Harpreet Kaur.

Ellie could not attend as she was away on holiday, but was presented with her award by Beckie upon her return.

Ellie said: “I was so shocked to win this!

“I am very proud and happy with everything that I have achieved in my apprenticeship.”

Click here to find out more about customer service practitioner apprenticeships at Leeds City College.

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