Career development and pathways

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust: Care makers

Summary: The trust identified a need to provide additional support to the nursing and allied health professional (AHP) workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic and so responded by introducing the pilot for the Care Maker role. Care Makers required no previous healthcare experience and were largely recruited from the local community. As the pilot was coming to an end, the trust identified the potential to convert some Care Makers into Healthcare Support Workers (HCSW). This not only allowed the trust to reduce their vacancy rate but also feed their ‘grow your own’ pipeline. The trust has seen an influx of applicants, including the ‘younger people’ – one of the goals of the broader HCSW Programme.

Key Themes: ​Development Pathways, Sustainable Recruitment, Diversity, New to Care

Key Contact: Nicola Monaghan, Professional Practice Lead / Emma Fisher, Professional Practice Practitioner​

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Aintree University Hospital: Developing Healthcare Support Worker roles

Summary: The trust agreed a significant investment in its nursing workforce, of 120 whole-time equivalent Healthcare Assistants, expecting this would reduce reliance on agency HCAs. The trust undertook several initiatives such as engaging with its local community through apprenticeship open days to raise awareness of employment opportunities. Promoting nursing as a career with local schools and colleges by attending careers events and hosting ‘pride in nursing’ events. Also engaging with its current workforce –to ask staff what they liked about working at Aintree, identify the development opportunities they would like, and raise current staff awareness that the trust could offer them a career pathway for life.

Key themes: Onboarding, Pastoral Support, Reducing Attrition, Community

Key Contact: Lynn Evans, Lead Nurse for Nursing and AHP Workforce

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Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System: Air to care ​

Summary: Hampshire and Isle of Wight ICS has developed a specific career framework for ex-cabin crew from the airline industry who wish to make the most of their customer service and first aid experience by joining the NHS. Following initial mandatory training – either face-to-face or using the eLearning for Health (eLfH) ‘Cabin Crew Supporting the Delivery of Patient Care’ module – staff can be deployed as Healthcare Support Workers. Following completion of the Care Certificate they can progress to nurse associates and onward to registered nurses (or equivalent) with further training.

Key Themes: ​Care Certificate, Innovative Recruitment, Development Pathways, New to Care

Key Contact: Susan Clarke, Head of School of Primary Care (Training Hubs)

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Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Delegation of insulin injections to Healthcare Support Workers

Summary: Traditionally, insulin injections are carried out by a community nurse when a diabetic patient struggles to manage their condition autonomously. The trust was seeing an increasing case load of patients that were getting older and requiring insulin administration and having to deal with these increasing pressures with no additional staff. To mitigate this, the trust instigated a pilot project which would allow HCSWs to administer insulin. HCSWs were required to undergo a one-and-a-half-day intensive programme which had been designed and delivered by a series of experts. All HCSWs involved in the training were paired with a mentor who would follow them through the training and into the community setting. Before being signed off HCSWs were required to carry out a minimum of 5 observed injections. The ‘Insulin Programme’ has been rolled out across Sheffield and has been built into HCSW CPD and new staff are offered the opportunity to receive the training. The trust is also rolling out a similar scheme with Dalteparin injections.

Key themes: Development Pathways, HCSW Value, Reducing Attrition, Community

Key contact: Marie Levesley, Integrated Care Team Nursing Lead + Julie Dutton, Integrated Nurse Team Lead

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The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust: Embedding volunteer pathways

Summary: As a result of Covid-19, the trust lost hundreds of volunteers due to shielding and individuals not feeling comfortable in the environment. The trust needed to establish a support network for their substantial staff during the pandemic, whilst also finding a way to manage the outpouring of support from the local community. To mitigate this, the trust decided to recruit a new cohort of volunteers and advertised the position on social media and through local school contacts. The campaign was exceptionally successful, and the trust received 145 volunteers who were placed into Ward Support roles. Trust data shows that 49% of their new volunteers were between the ages of 16 and 21, which has inspired additional funding and investment in a youth volunteering programme. The trust has gone on to recruit an additional two cohorts of volunteers and hope to continue to expand their volunteering programme. In addition, the trust has been having career conversations with recruits during monthly welfare sessions to strengthen their “homegrown HCSW” pipeline.

Key themes: Development Pathways, Sustainable Recruitment, Community, New to Care

Key contact: Abigail Townsend, Youth Volunteering Programme Co-Ordinator + Eleanor Morris, Deputy Head of Patient Experience (Strategy and Engagement)

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University Hospital Plymouth NHS Foundation Trust: New to care

Summary: The aim was to develop a workforce strategy providing a clear career pathway to enable progression. The trust utilised apprenticeship pathways, a push to value the Healthcare Support Worker role, developed a flexible educational model to enable staff to begin ‘new to care’, and offered opportunities to existing staff to continue their educational journey to nurse registration. The trust’s retention rate has improved from 49% to 93% with the introduction of the new level 2 programme.

Key Themes: ​ HCSW Value, Development Pathways, Onboarding, New to Care

Key Contact: Jo Hickey, Clinical Apprenticeship and Clinical Skills Manager​

Access the full case study on the FutureNHS platform