South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Torbay Hospital, has been selected as the Care Certificate flagship organisation in the South West. The Care Certificate is a new national learning programme that will give staff invaluable learning and skills in delivering compassionate, safe and high quality care and support to patients and clients.
The Care Certificate was introduced jointly across the Trust and at Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust in April 2015. To date over 200 members of staff have completed the Certificate or are working towards achieving it. Designed for healthcare assistants, social care support workers and other non-registered patient facing roles, the Care Certificate gives everyone the confidence that all workers have the same introductory skills, knowledge and behaviours – ensuring consistently high levels of care. It sets out a programme of learning from an identified set of standards that health and social care workers need to adhere to in their daily working life.
As part of the Trust’s flagship status, awarded by Health Education South West, the Trust will establish and lead a regional consortium of health and care organisations and stakeholders from the private, voluntary and independent sectors to implement a quality assurance process across the area. The role will be to ensure that standards are consistent from one organisation to another, and that the Care Certificate is fully implemented.
Martin Ringrose, interim joint HR director at the NHS trusts, said: “It’s been remarkable how enthusiastically staff have embraced this as a great opportunity. Raising standards in the profession not only builds strong and rewarding careers but gives our patients the consistent high quality experience they expect.
“The Care Certificate is the start of the career journey for these staff groups and is one element of the training and education that will make them ready to practice within their specific sector. Although the Care Certificate is designed for new staff it also offers opportunities for existing staff to refresh or improve their knowledge.”
Katrina Bevan, a healthcare assistant on Newton Abbot Community Hospital’s specialist stroke ward, is currently undertaking the Care Certificate: “I’ve worked in healthcare for over four years and I absolutely love it. It’s so rewarding to know that I’ve played a part in someone’s recovery and rehabilitation. I’ve found the Care Certificate easy to follow and it fits in well with work as it’s really practical. I’m used to studying as I’ve previously completed NVQ levels 2 and 3 in healthcare and this has been quite similar, I like that the approach makes you think and question things. I think it’s particularly useful for people who have no prior knowledge as well as those needing to do it as a refresher course.”
The Care Certificate was developed following the Francis Inquiry and Cavendish Review and the recommendation that standards in management, learning and knowledge need to be consistent across all health and care settings. Linking to national standards and qualifications, it sets out fifteen specific learning outcomes for competences of care. These include awareness of mental health, dementia and learning disabilities, safeguarding, and working in a person-centred way. In order for the Care Certificate to be awarded the person must demonstrate that they have achieved all of the required competences.