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Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) were the proud recipients of the ‘Business and Education Partnership’ accolade at this year’s Doncaster Chamber Business Awards.

Taking place on Thursday 12 December, this was the sixteenth year that the ceremony has been running, and once again it served to highlight the role that a wide-range of local businesses and organisations play in delivering growth and prosperity for the community.

DBTH scooped up the prize for ‘Business and Education Partnership’, in recognition of their pioneering work with Hall Cross Academy. The first of its kind in the country, in October 2018, the Trust entered into a formal relationship with Hall Cross, making the latter a ‘Foundation School in Health’. The trailblazing alliance now acts as an exemplary model for how NHS providers and educational bodies can work closely together for mutual benefit.

When devising the collaboration, the two organisations committed to three overarching objectives: To increase the number of students considering healthcare professions; to support their aspirations into this line of employment; and to outline best practice for setting-up similar initiatives in the future. At the heart of all of this was a shared vision to give pupils the best possible start in life, by shining a light on all of the different career prospects available to them in the NHS.

In the space of just over a year, lots of progress has already been made towards this goal. Several work experience programs and apprenticeship schemes are now in place, ‘Career Champions’ have been appointed within DBTH to advise students, and pupils have been given the opportunity to contribute to major projects within the Trust, such as the annual flu-campaign.

However, the biggest accomplishment for 2019 was undoubtedly the organisation of a ‘We Care – Into the Future’ event. The ambitious project was planned in conjunction with the academy and a handful of other organisations, and was an opportunity for 12 and 13 year olds to speak directly with those in healthcare and gain first-hand insight into what it’s like working in the sector.

Attended by around 800 local students, the fayre involved interactive stalls and engaging booths for each career – ranging from medical roles, to jobs in IT, finance, HR and more – as well as in-depth materials to take away and digest. In addition to this, a dynamic re-enactment of a patient’s journey through hospital services was also staged. 

Speaking about the award win, Dr Alasdair Strachan, Director of Education and Research at DBTH, said: “It is so gratifying to see that our forward-thinking project is gaining traction around the region and I am extremely pleased that the chamber have acknowledged all the hard work that went into making this vision a reality. Of course, none of this would have been possible without our wonderful colleagues at Hall Cross Academy, who have been enthusiastic partners and supported us every step of the way. Together, I believe that we can make a huge difference for the young people of Doncaster, whilst also helping the NHS build a fantastic workforce.”

Meanwhile, Pippa Dodgson, Principal at Hall Cross, said: “As an academy, we always strive to prepare our students for a long and prosperous career, whatever it is they choose to pursue. The inaugural year of our partnership with Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals has proven to be incredibly fruitful in this regard, leading to many exciting opportunities and opening lots of doors for our pupils. I cannot wait to see what the future of this collaboration will bring.”

In addition to winning the business and education partnership prize, DBTH were also nominated for the chamber’s ‘’Excellent in People Development’’ award – in recognition of their innovative leadership programme – as well as, ‘’Marketing Campaign of the Year’’, for their rousing traffic light hats promotion.