21 Oct 2013

Education and training for healthcare support workers provides debate focus

The publication of two high-profile reports earlier this year have demonstrated the importance of learning and development for healthcare staff and now The Open University’s Department of Nursing is hosting a workshop to debate the issues surrounding the development of healthcare support workers.

The workshop, held on the OU’s Milton Keynes campus, includes presentations from Gail Adams (UNISON), Angelo Varetto (Skills for Health), Mark Platt (Royal College of Nursing), Anne Trotter (Nursing and Midwifery Council), Jane Naish (Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) and Anna Prygodzicz (Health Education Wessex).

The Francis Report into the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (Feb 2013) and The Cavendish Review into support workers in the NHS and social care settings (July 2013), both highlighted the need to ensure that support workers have access to high quality education and training. With over 800,000 healthcare support workers currently contributing to the delivery of front line care, the workshop will look at the implications of these reports in order to enhance patient safety and deliver high quality, compassionate care.

“We have invited a range of high profile national, regional and local key stakeholders, who will talk about their priorities and actions to support the development of this workforce,” said Professor Jan Draper, Head of Nursing at The Open University.

“We are keen to ensure that the high quality, flexible learning The Open University currently offers continues to meet the needs of this workforce in what is an increasingly complex and challenging environment.”

The OU provides flexible learning opportunities for support workers, including a Foundation Degree in Healthcare Practice and a unique pre-registration nursing programme designed for employed and sponsored healthcare support workers.

The workshop takes place on Wednesday 30th October at The Hub Theatre, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes.

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