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Emma Field age 20 and Adam Speck age 17

Intermediate Laboratory Assistance (clinical analysis) through York College

Why did you choose to do apprenticeships?

Adam - Adam was at 6th form doing A levels he knew he didn't want to go to university- fees of £9,000 put him off. He wanted to get into work. The idea of earning and learning appealed to him.

Emma - Was at university doing forensic science didn't enjoy the learning style or course as there was a lot of physics rather than biology in it.

How did you hear about the apprenticeship opportunities?

The opportunity was advertised on apprenticeship website and NHS jobs Both apprentices had been regularly looking on the apprenticeship website for apprenticeship vacancies.

Emma had always wanted to do apprenticeship since careers advisors at school had talked about apprenticeships. This was because the way of learning was more of a 'hands on' approach, and she found it easier to learn like this. At the time she was leaving school there were no apprenticeships in the areas of biological sciences so she opted for university (This is the first laboratory apprenticeship opportunity in NHS in this region).

Adam remarked... " we were very lucky" .

Recruitment Process

Apprentices were required to apply online via nhs employers website. To be shortlisted for interview this system requires applicants to provide examples of how they meet listed criteria that have been outlined in the person specification and are necessary for the job role.

Both Emma and Adam were successful in getting an interview which was held at York Hospital and included a laboratory based test. (interviewees were required to distill water into a test tube and label), a memory test and a basic computer test. Adam remarked that it was challenging as he didn't expect this. Emma said that she found the interview experience enjoyable, and unlike other interviews she had been to.

What do you do?

As Emma and Adam have only just started their apprenticeship they are only undertaking 5/6 different tasks under supervision. These include sorting samples and putting them through machines and reporting results, preparing laboratory 'plates' for MRSA & Chlamydia.

There is no patient contact in this role (although some MLAs do have a patient facing role where they take and collect samples from Patients) and there is some office work in terms of data collection, reports and filing. As Emma and Adam become more experienced they will become more involved in analysis of samples and will work more independently.

What do you dislike about the job?

Adam dislikes - having to ask questions.

Emma so far doesn't dislike anything about the job,however would like to feel more confident in and familiar with role.

What does the apprenticeship involve?

The apprenticeship is a full time job. Emma and Adam go to college every other Wednesday for a whole day to do theory for the Technical Certificate and portfolio building (day release). Both apprentices were required to undertake an assessment to ascertain their level of English and Maths. If they do not have the required level they will need to undertake functional skills sessions.

Greatest achievements

Adam - Getting the job ....it ( the application process) was very competitive and I was lucky to get my application in within the first 2 days. (there were a large number of applicants so the vacancy was closed after 2 days).

Emma - being left on my own after a couple of days - it felt good being able to do the task myself and it felt good that I was trusted to do this.

Where can this apprenticeship take you?

Emma - I hope this apprenticeship makes me qualified to do this job well. I am hoping it leads to career opportunities in the future. I may even consider going to university if the course is right.

Adam - I hope to progress onto an Advanced apprenticeship - after 3 -4 years I might consider taking biomedical sciences at University.

Advice to anyone interested in NHS apprenticeships

You need to have a positive attitude and not be over confident.

Adam (who is only 17): "Get a decent email address as this reflects you and shows a mature attitude and that you are credible and serious about wanting the apprenticeship and to work in the NHS ".

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Visiting cancelled

Due to the increasing number of cases of coronavirus across the UK, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has made the decision to cancel all visiting to all its hospital sites in order to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

There are three exemptions to the ruling which are for one parent of a sick child under 18, for the partner of a woman giving birth and end of life patients at the discretion of the ward sister.

We would ask people to respect this decision and to treat our staff, who will be enforcing the visiting restrictions, with courtesy and respect.  For more information visit our website.


Outpatient appointments

We know that NHS services will come under intense pressure as the coronavirus spreads, and as a Trust we need to redirect staff, free up staff for refresher training and carry out any works as necessary, so we are able to maximise capacity for patients for when the number of infections peak.  We also need to reduce the number of people coming into our hospitals to protect our patients, as well as keeping our staff safe, well and able to come into work.

To do this, with effect from Tuesday 24 March 2020, along with other trusts in the Humber Coast and Vale partnerships, we have made the collective decision to suspend all non-urgent routine outpatient appointments for at least three months.  Urgent and emergency cases and cancer appointments will be carrying on as normal.

These are unprecedented times and we thank you for your understanding.  We know many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried but please not contact the hospital as we will be contacting everyone directly affected in the coming days and weeks.

If you do not receive a letter or a phone call from the hospital, please turn up for your scheduled appointment as normal unless you have symptoms of coronavirus, a cold, flu or norovirus in which case you should contact us to cancel your appointment by clicking here.


Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough and a high temperature, you are advised to stay at home for 7 days.

Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP practice.

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.  After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.

But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they're at home for longer than 14 days. The most up-to-date public guidance is always online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do.  Only call 111 direct if you are advised to do so by the online service or you cannot go online.