Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust is making changes to the way nursing assistants are recruited and trained which will enhance their knowledge and skills and give them a formal qualification that will help in their future career progression.
Nursing assistants support registered nurses in providing frontline care to patients. It is important that they have the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge needed to continue to maintain the highest standards of care. A structured apprentice model training programme will achieve this aim and improve retention rates.
The current recruitment and development of nursing assistants is undertaken through a much shorter period of theoretical and practical skills training, before nursing assistants continue their learning under supervision on wards.
Tracey Nutter, Director of Nursing said: “Following the publication of the Francis Report, all Trusts should be looking carefully at their own services to ensure that they maintain high standards and that staff have the very best skills and knowledge that they need to provide good quality compassionate care for their patients.”
“This move will ensure that new nursing assistants have a more thorough and a rigorous training programme in place, increasing their skills and confidence and providing them with greater career opportunities in the future.”
Under the changes new ‘trainee’ nursing assistants will be working towards a recognised formal QCF (Qualifications and Credit Framework) Diploma in Health and Social Care. During the period of training they will be paid a rate identified within the national NHS Agenda for Change pay system. This rate is significantly greater than the current national apprenticeship rate. The minimum period for completion of the course is one year, but it is expected that most will take up to 18 months to complete.
Ms Nutter said: “ We acknowledge that these new trainees will be earning less than nursing assistants who are currently working on wards, but we will be making a significant investment in their training and development in order to enable them to achieve a formal nationally recognised qualification. In doing so, the Trust took the decision not to pay the lower current national apprenticeship rate.”
If you would like further information please contact:
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.
Tel: 01722 425170