Winning the NHS Employers Advancing Healthcare Award

Dan Clay -AHA 18

Dan Clay, a therapy assistant from Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, won the NHS Employers Award for outstanding achievement by an apprentice, support worker or technician working alongside an AHP or healthcare scientist at the 2018 Advancing Healthcare Awards.

Dan was recognised for his work with patients with life-limiting conditions. In this blog Dan reflects on how winning the award helped to give him the confidence to pursue a career in physiotherapy.

Winning the award felt like a massive personal achievement and was a moment that I will never forget. The experience on the day was amazing. Listening to all the finalists’ stories and meeting professionals from other services around the country was enlightening and really opened my eyes to all the amazing work everyone does.

Since attending the award ceremony a lot has changed for me. My confidence has grown and I have started my journey towards becoming a physiotherapist. I am currently completing a foundation degree which I started in May 2018, that I do alongside my full-time work. This will provide me with enough UCAS points to do my physiotherapy degree once the course has finished in another year’s time.

Winning this award gave me the confidence in myself to apply for a degree and getting the recognition for my work really motivated me to continue my development and achieve my dream of being a physiotherapist.

Although my job role has changed since I won the award, I still implement the same level of care, and support patients in creating and achieving goals which are personal and meaningful to them. This is an ethos which I am passionate about and have shared in a lot of my staff meetings. This lead to me being asked by my occupational lead to present at the trust’s annual best practice day where I presented the topic - Putting life back into those living with a life limiting-condition.

To share my knowledge and experiences with all the other professionals was a huge honour. It all started with my occupational lead, Sarah Hodge, filling out the nomination form - for which I am so grateful. To anyone who is thinking about nominating a support worker or apprentice, I would say do it. It could not only make their day but may also help shape their career.

About the award:
NHS Employers sponsors the Award for outstanding achievement by an apprentice, support worker or technician working alongside an AHP or healthcare scientist. Nominations for this year’s Advancing Healthcare Awards can be submitted by an individual, their team, or by a patient, service user or carer.

Entries are open until 14 January 2019.

For more information and to submit an application please visit

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