New NHS academy helping youngsters to chase their dreams off to a ‘flying start’

Health Academy students Milly Southern and Jordan Lawrence
Health Academy students Milly Southern and Jordan Lawrence
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A new scheme set up to entice youngsters to pursue a career in the NHS is off to a ‘flying start’, health bosses said.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital chiefs joined forces with St Mary’s Catholic College to launch the Health Academy, which works with A level students keen on healthcare.

The 15-strong group is now working across a number of areas, and academy boss Tracy Crumblehulme said: “This is the first scheme of its type in the country and we are really proud of it. It is great to see it up and running and fantastic to see the group now working across the Trust in their uniforms. The feedback we have had from everyone so far has been fantastic.”

The students study at St Mary’s and go on placements one day a week, working towards a recognised qualification to help with university applications.

One, Jordan Lawrence, said: “In 2014 my mum had a heart attack, a cardiac arrest and an epileptic fit all at the same time.

“I was 14 at the time and I had to give her CPR until the ambulance came for more than six minutes and I’m glad to say she survived. She was in hospital for a long time and that episode spared my interest in a medical career.

“While she was in hospital I was constantly looking at her charts and wanted to know what was happening to her.

“She’s better now and doing better than expected and as soon as this course came up I wanted to do it.”

Another, 16-year-old Molly Southern, added: “Originally I was thinking about a career in pathology but now I’m looking at nursing and medicine too. I’ve been on a lot of different wards and worked with the Extensive Care team. Everyone has been really helpful and given me a lot of advice and I’ve enjoyed it so far.”