Amanda Biggs caring for a patient.JPGHampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has an extra reason to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week after its in-house programme was given the thumbs up by Ofsted.

The trust became a training provider in October 2018, launching an in-house apprenticeship scheme that provides opportunities for staff to acquire the skills they need to reach the next stage of their career.

Apprenticeships are offered across a variety of both clinical and non-clinical roles, allowing a wide range of staff to earn qualifications by getting hands-on experience as well as attending classes and dedicated study days.  

Healthcare support worker Amanda Biggs is undertaking a Level 3 Senior Healthcare Support Worker Apprenticeship at the trust after deciding to pursue a career change. Healthcare support workers play an important role on the wards, assisting doctors, nurses and other clinicians to deliver high-quality care by taking observations and helping to wash and feed patients.

Amanda said: “I’ve always wanted to work in healthcare, but I wasn’t sure how to kick-start my career until I came across the apprenticeship scheme offered at Hampshire Hospitals. It has been the perfect way to bridge the gap and gain the skills and experience I needed.

“Since starting the programme, my skillset, knowledge and confidence have continued to grow and improve, both on the wards and in the classroom. When I have finished this apprenticeship, I plan to progress my career in healthcare with further training I can access through the trust.

“I can’t thank the apprenticeship team and my colleagues enough for their encouragement and support, and I’m proud to be playing an important role in ensuring our patients receive the best possible care.”

As a training provider, the trust is regulated by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), who recently carried out their first inspection.

The trust was judged across three areas of the programme, including leadership, safeguarding and training provision. Ofsted noted that the education team “have established an ethos of ‘Grow’ to encourage apprentices to develop themselves, their teams and the trust.”

The Ofsted report also found that learners on the apprenticeship programmes have become “more competent practitioners within their teams”, which has enhanced team efficiently and capability when caring for patients. Ofsted also noted that the apprenticeships support learners to develop their knowledge, skills and behaviours that allow them to provide the best possible care to patients.

Jude Davison, head of education and workforce development at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, said:

“We are so pleased that Ofsted have recognised our commitment to delivering excellent and high-quality apprenticeships for our staff. From the feedback we receive, we know that our apprentices feel appreciated and valued, which enables them to deliver incredible patient care.”

You can read the full report on the Ofsted website.