The money will be used to establish a new national infrastructure for skills provision, directed by employers themselves, to bring thousands of NHSsupport workers up to a common high standard, and to maintain these standards for future workers. Employers in the project include University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and its partners
Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock has announced £4.36 million of joint government and industry funding to improve skills for the NHS’s 600,000 support workers.
The £1.96 million government funding comes from its Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot (EOP) fund. It was awarded following a tender from a partnership of public, private and third sector employers working with the NHS, to invest in the skills of their vital support staff. They are matching the government’s funding with £568,000 of cash investment and £1.8 million of in-kind contributions, totalling £2.4 million.
The money will be used to establish a new national infrastructure for skills provision, directed by employers themselves, to bring thousands of NHSsupport workers up to a common high standard, and to maintain these standards for future workers. Employers in the project include University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and its partners.
Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: “NHS staff, like those at Southampton University Hospital, work tirelessly to maintain their high standards of care, and we must make sure that they are supported with the right skills to provide high quality care for patients.
“Helping employers work together to build this will give the right staff the right skills to safeguard the future of the NHS.”
The funding will be used to establish 6 new ‘Excellence Centres’ across England, which will bring together employers in different sectors to implement skills programmes in their workplaces. The centres will also direct the development of 20 new national e-learning resources to give more flexible skills training, offering 6 new learning programmes centred on patient care. These will help develop:
· skills for providing community care (e.g. dementia support, medicine management, recognising signs of abuse)
· support for developing key behaviours and values critical to new entrants
· support for the development of study skills to facilitate the advancement of workers’ skills to level 3, 4 and 5
· further developing foundation skills (such as English, maths and IT) tailored to the needs of the sector
· support for the development of clinical skills which may lead on to Apprenticeships and other advanced training (eg blood transfusion and maternity support)
The new skills training for support workers will help the NHS become more efficient, creating estimated productivity gains of £2 billion. It will also support the creation of 10,000 additional apprentices and trainees, all with a high skills level, to create a more versatile and robust NHS.
Anita Esser, Head of Wider Healthcare Teams Education, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be working with the National Skills Academy for Health to help take this project forward, as developing the talent of support workers in healthcare organisations is vital for safe care to be delivered.
“By working collaboratively with other employers, education providers and other partners we will be able to provide more opportunities for support staff to gain skills and offer further career development.
“Creating a more skilled support workforce will help to meet the needs of an ageing population, with more flexible care options. It will also provide essential support for more qualified clinical staff, reducing the skills gap which can lead to qualified nurses covering for support tasks and reducing their time with patients.”