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On the Ward scoops Student Nursing Times Award!

St Andrew’s On The Ward podcast - created by staff nurse John Barry-Waldron - has won a Student Nursing Times Award!

The prestigious, national award programme aims to shine a light on the brightest talent making their way into the profession. Last night, during a virtual awards ceremony, our podcast won the Student Innovation in Practice category.

Our On the Ward podcast is the brainchild of John Barry-Waldron, a staff nurse at our Essex hospital. John has worked for St Andrew's for over 15 years, and studied for a nursing degree at the University of Northampton as part of St Andrew's ASPIRE programme. The podcast was one of his university projects, and aims to challenge some of the myths and taboos around mental illness. The podcast - which is now back for a second series - provides listeners with a rare look into what life is like for patients and staff living and working at St Andrew's.

John-Barry Waldron explained:

“When people think of mental health hospitals they think of strait jackets and padded cells, but that’s such an outdated image of what life is really like here. Often when people are sectioned under the mental health act they essentially disappear from society. Through this podcast I wanted to give patients living with complex mental health issues a chance for their voices to be heard.

 “Yes, there are dark times for many of our patients. Many have serious and complex mental health conditions, but that’s not to say they can’t have fun as well. The patients on our wards are human after all, and so are all the staff who work here.”

Congratulations, John! You're a star!

Listen: http://ontheward.stah.org/