UCLan school wins pair of awards for work in healthcare

The School of Community Health and Midwifery at the University of Central Lancashire has won two top prizes at the Educate North Awards.

The university won the Social Mobility Award - University Sector and the best International Partnership - University Sector. 

The International Partnership prize recognises the work of UCLan’s Elizabeth Gomez and Professor Soo Downe. They combined face-to-face and online teaching, while working in close partnership with the Fernandez Hospitals Foundation in Hyderabad, India, UCLan trained a cohort of UK midwives to become educators. The UK group subsequently travelled to India to replicate this educator training with a cohort of Indian nurse midwives. 

The strategy is helping to ensure future midwives in India are trained in line with international standards that require teaching to be undertaken by qualified professionals. The initiative also supports the country’s drive to improve maternal and newborn care and support, while reducing pregnancy related death rates of mothers and babies.

The Educate North judging panel said: “This initiative has very clear societal benefits, improving the training of Indian midwives through international partnership with an Indian hospital. It is an excellent collaboration which will benefit the University in the long-term while the initiative can be transferrable to other countries in need of this work.”

The Social Mobility award highlighted the work of the school’s Health and Social Care team which, via a foundation degree programme, supports individuals with undiscovered potential to become the next generation of health and social care professionals.

Enrolled students benefit from an admissions policy that includes non-standard entry for students with clear evidence of sector experience. Supportive course infrastructure and assessment measures as well as options for more than 15 different career pathways are all provided for enrolled students. Data from the 2018 – 2019 cohort shows 79.4 per cent of the Faculty of Health and Care’s foundation programme students progressed successfully to the first year of an undergraduate course.

The Educate North judging panel said: "This is a good example of how social mobility is being increased through a foundation course, it provides access to students who may not have considered this option previously and is really making a difference.”

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