Student social worker from Norfolk receives national recognition

Aleksandra Jankowska. Picture: University of Lincoln

Aleksandra Jankowska. Picture: University of Lincoln - Credit: Archant

A social work student from Norfolk has been nationally recognised after being nominated for a prestigious care award.

Social work student Aleksandra Jankowska, from Swaffham, is in her final year at the University of Lincoln and was presented with the Advocate of Tomorrow award at a ceremony held in Birmingham on March 1.

She was nominated by colleagues during her final year work placement with the Broadland Clinic's Learning Disability and Forensic Service, which provides specialist intervention for offenders with mild learning disabilities as well as mental health problems.

During the placement, Ms Jankowska worked with internal and external professionals and care providers to develop treatment plans that effectively met the needs of the service users.

She was nominated for the award because of her work on a patient Care Programme Approach (CPA) audit, which is intended to support people with severe mental illness to ensure that their needs and choices are central to their care.

As part of the audit, she designed a questionnaire and chaired regular meetings to allow service users to share their thoughts on the care they were receiving. The information was collated and a report was produced, which included a series of recommendations on how the experience of service users could be improved.

'Winning such a great award within the social work sector before fully qualifying is such a fulfilling and proud achievement of mine,' said Ms Jankowska.

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'It shows my dedication and drive towards social change and the improvement of services for service users.

'After graduating I am open to starting my career in any sector of social work but will continue my hard work in improving service user experience and advocating their needs to maintain their well-being.'

The award is from the Patient Experience Network Awards, which was formed in 2009 to recognise individuals in the health and social care sector for their delivery of outstanding patient care.

Ian Mathews, senior lecturer at University of Lincoln said it was 'fantastic' that Ms Jankowska had been recognised and her ability to support service users will serve her well in the future.