Fresh eyes, small steps, big changes

As Student Quality Ambassadors, we promote good practice and challenge standards of care within the workplace.

Do you want to find out more about the Student Quality Ambassador Project?

Visit for upcoming online information sessions!

To all our SQAs and QAs

I would just like to take the time to say thank you to all our SQAs and QAs. In these difficult times our NHS needs your excellence and enthusiasm more than ever. I am proud to know that you will all be supporting your colleagues, trusts and universities with your leadership skills and positive attitudes.

Please know that although we are working remotely we are still available via email and are still ready to take any enquires that may come up.
In the present climate we are unable to organise any face-to-face development days, however there are plans for online information sessions and project support forums.

The Coronavirus pandemic has meant that we have had to work differently as individuals and organisationally. Please share any new ideas and initiatives that have worked well – we want to hear all about these!

Let’s spread the SQA message far and wide!


About the Student Quality Ambassador project

The aims of the Student Quality Ambassador project are as ambitious as they are simple. We aim to take the most innovative and motivated healthcare and social work students from across all healthcare disciplines and North West universities and provide them with the opportunity and support to role model and positively affect the quality of health and social care.

The numerous quality challenges completed, and SQA care innovations developed, have not only had a massive impact on service user and provider experience, but also fostered the development of personal leadership qualities and innovative thinking required from the healthcare and social work leaders of the future.

We achieve our aim by:

  • Sharing best practice and contributing to innovation
  • Triangulating findings from quality measurement tools such as the Open and Honest Care reporting and Friends and Family tests which will assist to drive improvements in care
  • Forming a region-wide collaboration of HEIs and Service Providers to develop initiatives focused on promoting care and compassion within the healthcare and social sector
  • Showcasing student innovation projects within Trusts and developing an internet site where students can share their best practice across the region

What is the role of a Student Quality Ambassador (SQA) member?

The SQAs have been involved in a variety of projects to enhance patient care, such as the 15 steps toolkit, audits, mock inspections and becoming dementia friends. There is also the opportunity to develop your own ideas from what inspires you.

Our members:

Undertake practice based learning and feel empowered to champion and highlight good practice

Challenge areas of practice requiring development

Show leadership and motivation for themselves and other students, including being test subjects for innovations such as trialling the use of Standardised Numeracy Assessment Project (SNAP), Values and Behaviours assessment tools and e-learning projects etc.

Work alongside and liaise between practice areas, PEFs, HEIs, students, service users/patients and carers, other professionals

As a Student Quality Ambassador you should have a desire to champion good practice and enhance the quality of patient care and service user experience

Become a Student Quality Ambassador

The Student Quality Ambassador Initiative is open to all healthcare students in the North West of England and you can apply online today.

Apply Online

Meet some of our SQAs!

Jennifer Motlaleselelo

Jennifer Motlaleselelo

Physiotherapy, University of Central Lancashire

Jennifer is passionate about improving the experience of healthcare students from BAME backgrounds. Jennifer is representing healthcare students by networking with RePAIR fellows at Health Education England. The RePAIR projects aims to improve retention and attrition of students on health-related programmes in the North West.

 I became an SQA as it was an opportunity to be involved in enhancing patient’s experience and create positive change within the healthcare profession as a student. It also provided me with support to develop my leadership skills and liaise with other motivated students and professionals that I could learn from.  

 In an effort to tackle the lack of representation and support for BAME students in the physiotherapy profession, I am currently in the middle of setting up a BAME network for physio students in my university (UCLan). I am also organising a series of in-depth discussions about equality, diversity and inclusivity within physiotherapy, facilitated by the Cultural Health Club (a conglomerate of BAME physios in the UK aiming to empower BAME physiotherapists as well as to promote awareness on diversity and equality)for the physiotherapy staff and students. My aim is to challenge perspectives and unconscious biases in order to improve cultural sensitivity and awareness by increasing students understanding of patients/colleagues from different backgrounds. With the help of Yvette, I am organising an anonymous survey for AHP students to understand the BAME experience and how universities can offer them more support.  

 In future, plan on developing a welcome section, for BAME AHP students, which universities can add to their course handbooks containing useful resources to support their education. I also plan on expanding the student physiotherapy BAME network at my university to include other AHP students (occupational therapy, speech language therapy, etc). Another one of my aims is to improve knowledge students have about the role of each professional in the multidisciplinary team. I would like to encourage better understanding of the scope of practice each different health professional has by increasing interaction health students have with each other in academic settings. 

Vanessa Hiller

Vanessa Hiller

Adult Nursing - University of Chester

I am very keen to look at innovative and fresh ideas that will lead to better outcomes for everyone involved in healthcare.
I think as a student we are in a unique position, as we have a fresh pair of eyes and the resources of an academic institution behind us, and I want to make the most of this opportunity.
In my previous career, I worked as a PA within a management team and have experience of change management and service innovation, so this way of thinking is already embedded in my way of working.
Getting involved with this project will also add an extra dimension to my study and my placement; for example, if, when reading or on placement, I see an opportunity for change or improvement or an area for further exploration, I will have a vehicle through this project to explore that idea.

Claire Pearcy-Makemson

Claire Pearcy-Makemson

Learning Disability nursing - University of Cumbria

I am interested in the national plan to retain the learning disability nurse work force and grow and develop together.
It has been hard during the pandemic, especially to cope with university and opt in placements but when I can I enjoy talking to the other SQAs and feeling like a part of something bigger
James Savage

James Savage

Mental Health Nursing, LJMU

James is an active committee member of the Royal College of Nursing North West Student Commitee. James is keen to create a multidisciplinary student forum to share learning, ideas and innovations. 

James is keen to improve the experiences of students in the clincal learning environment.

Megan Burkhill

Megan Burkhill

Mental Health Nursing, University of Bolton

Hey everyone! I’m Meg and I am a student mental health nurse. I became an SQA because Yvette made it sound like such an amazing opportunity and she hasn’t let me down. After only a short few months I’ve been able to get involved with researching and improving placements for all the students in the North West. I have a big passion for bringing the different avenues of nursing together as I feel that, at the moment, there’s a lot of distance and lack of understanding between the groups. SQA has given me a great chance to meet like-minded people. Over the next year I plan to work with all the different members of SQA and put our heads together to come up with different ways to improve the teamwork of nurses in all health sectors.
The thing that’s impressed me with SQA is the respect and kindness expressed from the ‘powers that be’ it’s so wonderful to really feel that you have a whole organisation who have your back and really what to see you achieve.
As an SQA I really feel part of a community and can’t wait to see just how far we can go.
Rebecca Lennox

Rebecca Lennox

Adult Nursing, LJMU

I decided I wanted to be a Student Quality Ambassador when I first heard about it during an open day at university in 2017. After a leave of absence to have a baby, I am finally in my second year and applied straight away. I want to make positive change across nursing and everyone knows I have such a big passion for Deaf Awareness and I hope I can bring some Deaf Awareness to the nursing profession. I also enjoy anything to do with infection prevention and control.
Rebecca Gregory

Rebecca Gregory

Diagnostic Radiography - Sheffield Hallam University

I feel really privileged to be a part of the SQA project. It’s a real opportunity to influence change and progression within my student community, and student placement working environment. The SQA project has given it’s ambassadors their voices. Combined with my role as a student seat on the NE&Y Allied Health Professions Council, I am excited to be able to contribute to improvements within health care services

Leonie Fenton

Leonie Fenton

Trainee Nurse Associate - Edge Hill University

Being an SQA allows me to be an advocate for the relatively new role of the Nursing Associate. I am passionate about improving dementia care and am working to improving knowledge surrounding dementia within my hospital trust and university

Latest News

Quality & Leadership Placement Expansion

Work has begun to create a placement circuit which is related to Quality and leadership in Healthcare. This circuit will be suitable for students on health-related programmes and will enable students from different professional groups to work together. The main...

RePAIR Project

The Student Quality Ambassador Project will be linking with the RePAIR (Reducing Pre-registration Attrition and Retention) project at Health Education England. The input of the SQAs will provide an insight into the experience of students and what motivates them to...

SQA North East

We are excited to announce that funding has bee secured to expand the SQA Project into North East Yorkshire. This means that the many opportunities that SQA offers can be accessed by student on pre-registration healthcare courses. The SQA Project offers a supportive...

SQAs influence Placement Expansion work

A number of Student Quality Ambassadors have collaborated with Health Education England to work towards increasing placement capacity for healthcare students as well as ensuring students receive a positive learning experience. This is part of a wider piece of regional...

Dementia Friends

SQA and Dementia Friends Champion Leonie Fenton, TNA from Edge Hill University has been working hard to roll out Dementia Friends to other SQAs and beyond. I was lucky enough to attend an online Dementia Friends session, and took away some really useful tips as to how...

Student Nursing Times Awards – SQA Success!

We are so pleased to announce that SQA Rose James was awarded with a Student Nursing Times 2020 Award, for outstanding contribution to student affairs!Congratulations to SQAs Daniel Branch and Aaron Hobin for being runner-ups for a Student Nursing Times Award!We are...

Upcoming Events

 1 Hour Online Events  Find out more about the role of a Student Quality Ambassador and what opportunities it could give you. Dates Friday, 14 August 2020 10:30  Wednesday, 30 September 2020 16:00  Thursday, 1 October 2020 10:30  Wednesday, 14 October 2020 16:00 ...

A Big Hello!!

     Yvette Heatley – North West SQA Project Lead  I would like to introduce myself as I undertake my role as North West Project Lead for the Student Quality Ambassador (SQA) Project. Since qualifying as an Adult Nurse from the University of Chester in 2010, I have...

SQA Development Day

Development Day. Open to all past and present SQAs A inspiring day filled with interesting speakers which will enhance your studies. University of Cumbria 27th March 2020  ...

Get in touch

Please note that currently this project is currently only open to healthcare and social work students within the North West of England.

However, our future aim is that the project is rolled out nationally –

For further information about the SQA role and how you can involve your students or organisation please contact Yvette Heatley at [email protected]