A DEDICATED support worker at Dudley's hospital trust has been named a 'rising star' at a national healthcare awards ceremony.

Assistant therapy practitioner Lorraine Allchurch, the lead AHP (allied health professionals) support worker at The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, picked up the award at the virtual Advancing Healthcare Awards 2021.

She was also in the final three of the NHS Employers Award for Outstanding Achievement by an AHP or healthcare science apprentice, support worker or technician.

There are 152,000 AHPs working across all health and social care settings nationally, and they are the third largest workforce in the NHS.

Lorraine’s nomination praised her for being positive and motivated, and dedicated to patient care.

During the pandemic Lorraine's role adapted from treating frailty patients to working on Covid-19 positive areas and ensuring colleagues were correctly fitted with respirator masks.

She was nominated by her clinical team leader, Jackie Bath, who said: “I nominated Lorraine for this award as she is definitely a rising star. She is a positive and motivated person, dedicated to patient care, service and professional development for both herself and colleagues. Lorraine embraces opportunities for development and shares any opportunities with the wider team.”

Lorraine said: “The award demonstrates clearly that support staff can, when given the time to do so, make a valuable contribution to patient care whilst developing their own professional development.

"Support staff do amazing work every single day making a difference to patients' lives and to get this recognition is not only for me but for all support staff to realise their impact to patient care is invaluable. We make a difference together.”

Lorraine, an associate member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, was recently appointed to a national reference group to look at education and career development for speech and language therapists’ assistants and support workers.

She is a core team member of the West Midlands Regional Network for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and she has worked for the Dudley group for 12 years.