College-led hospital salon celebrates Herald Society Award


A project to create a student-led hair salon at University Hospital Wishaw has once again been awarded for its Health and Social Care Integration.

Run by Hairdressing and Barbering staff and students from New College Lanarkshire, the salon was recognised at the Herald Society Awards 2019 celebrating the work that has been carried out since its opening in April. The award follows on from a recent win at the Scottish Dementia Awards for Best Hospital Care Initiative.

The salon offers patients at University Hospital Wishaw free hair styling and barbering services – and more than 300 treatments have already been carried out by Commercial Hairdressing and Commercial Barbering students from the College’s Motherwell Campus.

The salon is normally open two days per week during term-time – but dedicated lecturers and students have been volunteering their time one day per week over the summer.

The project was awarded the Health and Social Care Integration prize for showing innovation and effectiveness in meeting the Government’s health and social care integration agenda.

Staff and students from the College joined representatives from the hospital to celebrate the win at a glittering awards ceremony on 6 November at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Glasgow.

Anne Leitch, Chief Nurse at University Hospital Wishaw, said: “The ‘Styles and Smiles’ salon was launched after patients told porters they were embarrassed about their hair.

“The salon helps patients maintain community participation, allowing individuals who have a hairdressing routine to maintain this while in hospital.

“We are delighted with the impact the salon has had on our patients. We have regular patients attending and they look forward to going to the salon.

“The social interaction within the salon is fabulous and this also has a positive impact on patients.”

Styles & Smiles was officially opened by ex-Motherwell FC striker James McFadden and Clyde 1’s Superscoreboard host Gordon Duncan.

Established through a partnership between NHS Lanarkshire, Serco, Summit Healthcare and New College Lanarkshire, the salon features two height-adjustable back-wash basins, three hairstyling chairs, an overhead hood dryer and a seating area.

Two Hairdressing lecturers from New College Lanarkshire, Jackie McMahon and Jacqui Ward, have been involved in the project from the outset.

Jacqui Ward said: “It’s extraordinary to see the faces of the patients after they’ve had their hair done. Being on a ward, you don’t have the opportunity to make yourself feel good.

“We’ve been really busy and some days we’ve even had queues. It is hard work but it’s so rewarding.”

Jackie McMahon added: “Our students have been fab – they’re so committed. Their confidence has been boosted but their skills have improved massively.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to work with different people – and for a career in hairdressing, those communication and people skills are vital.”

Student Catherine Brown, who progressed to Level 3 Advanced Commercial Hairdressing in August, has volunteered in the salon over the summer alongside her daughter, Bobbi.

Catherine, who lives in Bellshill, said: “As much as it’s voluntary and we don’t get paid, the patients are really giving us something back because without them we wouldn’t continue to learn.

“The patients are always trying to pay us, but they’re the ones who are contributing towards our learning.”

For further information about the Herald Society Awards, visit:

To find out more about New College Lanarkshire’s range of courses in Hairdressing, please visit

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