Several Filipino healthcare professionals made history by receiving awards from various organizations in the United Kingdom.
Paul John Alegado of the University Hospitals Birmingham recorded the fastest promotion to Band 6 Clinical Educator from Band 5 Theatre Practitioner in just 3 months.
Referring to his achievement as "breaking the glass ceiling," Alegado said he was honored as this had never been accomplished in his Trust and in the National Health Service (NHS).
“When I found out that I got the job, I didn’t really think about it from a personal perspective but more from a bigger picture; that this achievement is not only for me. But it means that I was able to break down barriers and prove that it can be done, that I can actually inspire and motivate others to do the same,” he said.
Aside from his record-breaking promotion, Alegado was also accepted to a fellowship program by the NHS, where he will have an opportunity to work with leaders in the health service and different ethnic minority organizations, tackle problems against discrimination, and further promote diversity in the workplace.
“I also would like to offer peer support which includes mentoring support for international nurses through the Filipino Nurses Association (PNA) UK, relocation and pastoral care for incoming nurses, and networking and community building,” he added.
Alegado previously worked in a Philippine hospital before serving as an educator in Beijing
While in China, he took up a master’s degree in International Studies at the University of International Business and Economics and completed a doctorate in International and Comparative Education at the Beijing Normal University. He later worked as a research fellow for the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Meanwhile, Filipino senior thrombosis nurse specialist Ediscyll Lorusso received the sixth Our Health Heroes’ National Lifetime Achievement Award from the Skills for Health, a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of an improved and sustainable healthcare workforce across the UK.
Lorusso, a mother of 2 and a full-time nurse at the St. George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, was recognized for her advocacy on thrombosis prevention awareness, which made the hospital one of the exemplar sites for Venous ThromboEmbolism prevention in the Houses of Parliament.
Speaking to Skills for Health, the 44-year-old Filipina health professional said she loves working as a nurse as making a positive difference in her patients’ lives gives her a huge sense of achievement.
The first-ever International Community Nurse of the Year award from The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) was given to another Filipino, advanced mental health nurse Dennis Singson.
Singson, who is now based in East Sussex, England and the deputy chairperson of the PNA-UK, said he considered the award as a validation of his hard work in designing and delivering improved service for mental health patients in primary care.
“Winning this here in the UK also helps raise the awareness not just of how mental health services should be treated equally as physical health problems, but also raises the profile of the contribution of nurses from the Philippines in the landscape of health provision in the UK,” he said.
Singson, who also won the Clinical Excellence Award for Nursing in 2018, hoped to replicate the improvements in the field of mental health services that he advocated in the UK by providing educational meetings and trainings to some nursing students and government offices in the Philippines.
The Overseas Nurse of the Year of the Nursing Times Workforce Award 2021, meanwhile, was bestowed to a Filipina nurse.
April Ann Montoya, a staff nurse at the emergency department of the Hull University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust and the deputy chair of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network, assisted the Trust in providing the educational and induction needs of its overseas nurses.
Recently, Wilfredo Manuel and Leo Andrew Almerol were awarded by the British Journal Nursing Awards as the Renal Nurse of the Year and Vascular Access Nurse of the Year, respectively.
The UK hosts some 40,000 Filipino nurses, according to a study released by the University of Bristol in August 2021.