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Forty nurses were presented with awards at a ceremony at the Central Hall by the Minister for Health, Dr John Cortes, on Friday.

Three distinct groups received the awards:

  1. 20 Enrolled Nurses awarded certificates of registration with the Gibraltar Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Registration Board and the QCF level 3 Health and Social Care certificate
  2. 18 staff awarded QCF level 2 Health and Social Care certificate
  3. 2 staff awarded the A1 Assessors certificate

Training for enrolled nurses was re-introduced by the Government after an absence of many years, providing an opportunity for nursing assistants to progress I n their careers.

The event was introduced by the Head of the School of Health Studies Professor Ian Peate. Also present was Senior Tutor Janet Lane. It was a special occasion for all those who had undertaken the training and succeeded in achieving their endeavours. The event was not just a celebration of individual, personal achievement but also a recognition of contributions made by those receiving their awards, staff, the School of Health Studies and the GHA as a whole.

The School of Health Studies is at the heart of health care provision in Gibraltar, offering health care education to a variety of staff in a number health care settings providing high quality education that is delivered locally, those receiving their awards will have received their education and training totally in Gibraltar. This is an important part of the GHA strategy that strives to generate greater focus towards improving patient care that is sensitive to the needs of our community, driven by a strong sense of vocation that ultimately aims to serve our patients with the highest standards of care. 

The text of the Minister’s address is given below:

Here we are once again at what to me is one of the most fulfilling events that I attend as Minister for Health.

“I take great pride in having been able to achieve the reinstatement of the enrolled nursing training programme, and more important, the avenue of progression from Nursing Assistant and Carer to Enrolled Nurse and beyond, opening opportunities that until just a few years ago were denied to our young – and not so young nurses.

“All the staff of the School of Health Studies, who I thank and congratulate, I am sure, join me in this.

“I don’t have to tell you that nursing is pivotal in any health and care organisation. For one, it is the largest group - and for good reason. In the hands of nurses is the care of our community at the most vulnerable times, from before birth, through illness to our final moments. Their care, their attention, their empathy, and of course, their skills, all impact on the lives of all of us at some point or another. Few professions are so intimately relevant to the life of our community.

“Nurses at all levels make a huge contribution to the GHA, ERS and the Care Agency, from nursing assistant, enrolled nurse, staff nurse in all the specialties, nursing sister/charge nurse, clinical nurse manager and beyond, all nurses have key roles and functions in our organisations. And, provided you are willing to continue to work and study, all these possibilities are now open to you. Equally, your new position as enrolled nurse, where many of you will chose to continue your profession, places you in an important place, with skills and responsibilities that will make a difference to many.

“Too often all that people hear about the GHA and other health and care agencies are the negatives – but there are many more positives than negatives. I always say, when I have the opportunity – the privilege – to address groups of staff such as you – that in these organisations we do many things right, but that we can do everything better. You all, with your new skills and experience are so important in improving what we do. Never become complacent, never let your job become just a job, and always remember that the people we care for are the reason for us doing what we do.

“You should be proud today, and justly so. You have successfully completed a wide and challenging course of training. And your family and friends too will be justly proud today. The rest of us here, and me very particularly, are also proud. Many congratulations. Enjoy the day, and then go out and put into practice what you have learnt. Gibraltar is lucky to have you.