A student who witnessed first-hand the care doctors gave during the Covid-19 pandemic has received a special scholarship.

Former radiographer Mohamed Chand has swapped career paths and has been named the 2022 recipient of the Mackenzie Scholarship from the University of Central Lancashire.

The scholarship, is jointly funded by UCLan and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and this covers his tuition fees for the duration of his five-year Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree at UCLan.

Mohamed, from Blackburn, said: “I was delighted to find out I’d been chosen as this year’s winning recipient, it really is an honour to receive such an important scholarship.

“I’m very grateful to be given this amazing opportunity and I am very motivated to perform to the best of my abilities.”

The 25-year-old was working as a radiographer in Bradford Royal Infirmary during the beginning and at the height of the pandemic.

He had worked in the role for three years after graduating from the University of Bradford but it was seeing the doctors carry out their work while under such circumstances that persuaded Mohamed to go back to university to retrain as a doctor.

The former Pleckgate High School and St Mary’s College pupil said: “While working in the hospital I was able to witness first-hand, and truly appreciate, how healthcare workers, and in particular, doctors, provided high-quality patient-centred care, especially when very little information was known about Covid-19.

“The doctors tried to help patients to recover by practically applying their skills and knowledge whilst still applying a human touch to their care. I found this very inspiring, and it motivated me to want to study medicine.”

The aim of the Mackenzie Scholarship is to provide opportunities for students who come from backgrounds that are under-represented at university to study medicine, as well recruiting and retaining local doctors to NHS employment in areas, such as Lancashire, that struggle to keep hold of healthcare professionals.