Jordanstown health care professional ‘humbled’ by honorary OBE
A Newtownabbey woman has been has been awarded an honorary OBE from the Queen for her contribution to health and social care (HSC) in Northern Ireland.
Hazel Winning, from Jordanstown, has been recognised for her role at the Department of Health (DoH) and the development of the contribution the allied health professions (AHP) make across the province.
Hazel said she is “delighted and honoured” to accept this award on behalf of all her AHP colleagues who played a key part in developing their professionals and roles to improve the quality of health and social care in Northern Ireland.
It has come as a real surprise to Hazel who “feels very humbled and honoured to be nominated for such a prestigious award”.
She adds: “I feel I was so privileged to work at the DoH with such fantastic colleagues and be able to contribute to the development of HSC in Northern Ireland.”
As DoH allied health professions officer, Hazel was the most senior advisor in Northern Ireland government on AHP matters across the professions: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, radiography diagnostic and therapeutic, podiatry, dietitians, art drama and music therapy and recently includes paramedics. She provided professional advice and support to Assembly ministers and senior officials across health and social care services on AHP policy, education and practice.
Hazel set the strategic direction for all AHP professions in Northern Ireland. She led on the development of policy in relation to professional standards and practice, quality and safety, and workforce development and planning to ensure the workforce is fit for purpose and in line with strategic and ministerial direction.
Hazel led on many initiatives and projects which have had major impact for AHPs, such as regional supervision policy, leadership programmes for AHPs, educational commissioning for postgraduate education etc.
She played a key role in the assimilation of the paramedic profession into the AHP grouping in the province, which gives Northern Ireland parity with the rest of the UK, enhancing the AHP workforce.
A key recommendation of the 2012-2017 Northern Ireland AHP strategy was to carry out workforce reviews for all AHPs. Hazel played a pivotal role in this work which informs the numbers and models for each of the AHP services for the next 10 years.
Hazel was keen to support the progression of the AHP workforce and led the development of the Northern Ireland AHP Advanced Practitioner Framework 2019.
A great supporter of all AHP professional bodies, she has also been involved with her own professional body in different roles at regional and national levels. In 2019, Hazel was awarded a Fellowship Award which is the highest honour that the Royal College of Occupational Therapy can bestow on its members in recognition of the outstanding contribution they have made to the occupational therapy profession during their career.
Before retiring from her post at DoH, Hazel was involved in securing funding which led to the development of a pilot AHP hippotherapy course in Northern Ireland. This course is currently ongoing through Ulster University. Hazel is now a member of the recently established One Equine Trust which is involved in the development of equine-assisted therapy and learning in Northern Ireland.
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