‘Gold Standard’ student’s university offer success

A Waltham Forest student says his involvement in a local NHS project has helped him get into university.

Aman Ali, a student at Leyton Sixth Form College, volunteered last year to care for elderly patients at Whipps Cross Hospital, and has now  received conditional offers from City University for Nursing and London Southbank University.

The volunteer work was a key part of an NHS project called the Gold Standard, which aimed to improve the quality of care elderly patients receive at Whipps Cross Hospital.

Aman Ali, 18, said: “It was great being involved in the Gold Standard as I was unclear about what I wanted to do and this gave me the opportunity to talk to nurses about their careers. The project gave me confidence as I was on a ward and talking to patients. Having first-hand experience dealing with patients who had dementia gave me a lot to talk about in my interviews.

“I would definitely recommend it to others as it has not only given me more direction, but it also felt really great to volunteer and hear patients’ stories”

The Gold Standard project was run by Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the Patients Association, Healthwatch and Whipps Cross Hospital. It involved students talking to patients to help hospital staff understand the individual needs of each patient. A Gold Standard Charter was also developed, which sets out 14 standards patients should expect to receive while they are being cared in Waltham Forest.

Dr Anwar Khan, local GP and chair of Waltham Forest CCG, said:

“I am really pleased to hear that Aman has been offered two places at university.

“It shows that our work with schools has positively impacted our local community and has attracted some bright, young talent to our health services.

“We look forward to creating more projects like this with local health services and schools.”

The CCG is planning a second Gold Standard project, and are working with local health providers in the borough to support the programme.

Kyla Ward, a tutor at Leyton Sixth Form College, said: “We at Leyton Sixth Form College are extremely proud of the accomplishment of our BTEC Applied Science student Aman Ali.

“It is challenging for students on a BTEC Science course to demonstrate to universities that not only do they possess scientific knowledge and skills, they also possess the softer caring skills required for nursing.

“The Gold Standard Project gave Aman the necessary experience to successfully gain offers at two of the best universities for nursing in London. His achievement is testament to his hard work in college and volunteering in the hospital.”