Published: 24/11/2023

NCLs Wishaw Hospital project is award winning!

Our work helping Supported Learning students into work at Wishaw Hospital has been honoured at a ceremony in Blackpool.

Supported Learning lecturers Katie Murphy and Liz Paterson, along with North Lanarkshire Council’s Joan McAleavy had plenty reason to celebrate at the recent DFN Project SEARCH Annual Conference in Blackpool.

The scheme, a partnership between NHS Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire Council, New College Lanarkshire, and the charity Project Search allows students to do a series of work placement at the hospital while receiving training and is now in its 14th year. 

Katie & Joan were delighted to accept an award for the University Hospital Wishaw project, for achieving over 70% employment outcomes for their 2021/22 graduates. This is the third year running they have been recognised for their outstanding employment outcomes and they have already secured 88% for their 2022-23 cohort, which will be recognised at next year’s awards.   

 The Hairmyres, Monklands and Wishaw sites were also recognised for playing a huge part in the inclusion revolution by running for more than 10yrs. Liz Paterson was delighted to accept the award on behalf of Monklands and Joan accepted the award for Wishaw. Katie accepted the award for Hairmyres in the absence of their lecturer, Kati Waitzmann, who was unable to attend.

Katie, Liz and Kati are all extremely proud of the achievements of the young people they work with, who despite the many barriers they face, managed to gain and maintain employment.  

The employability project is run in partnership with New College Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire Council, South Lanarkshire Council, Serco, ISS and NHS Lanarkshire.  DFN Project SEARCH is a one-year supported internship programme for young adults with a learning disability and/or autism to help them transition from education to work. They are given the opportunity to experience at least three 12-week placements throughout the hospital where they are supported with a mentor who is employed within the department. 

Many of the mentors who put themselves forward to support our students have been past graduates of DFN Project SEARCH, which further highlights the success of the project.  The host business, NHS Lanarkshire, have employed many of our interns and in University Hospital Wishaw we currently have 31 employees ranging from 6months to 13yrs service.