Posted on: September 18th, 2017
Six trainee mental health care workers are getting ready to experience life on hospital wards as part of a pilot training scheme from Bradford College and Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust.
The college and care trust have joined forces to run a 14-week education and training programme aimed at giving young people the skills and experience to pursue a care in the health and social care sector.
Back row from left, Lisa Peacock, tutor at Bradford College, Lara Urso, Leigh Holdsworth, Rebecca Burrows, Danielle Turner and tutor Patricia Knight. Front from left: Saniyyah Kazmi, Neil Harris from BDCFT and Shabana Akther
Having completed their month-long college-based learning, which has included sharpening their maths and English skills, the half dozen trainees are now set to continue their learning in hospitals by carrying out work placements on mental health wards alongside experienced staff. They will each work with an assigned ‘buddy’.
The trainees, recruited through City Training Services, part of the Bradford College Group, are aged between 18 and 24 years and will carry out placements at Airedale Hospital and Lynfield Mount Hospital.
On successful completion of the traineeship the aspiring health workers will receive recognised qualifications in the form of an NCFE level 2 Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems and the Care Certificate. They will also have the opportunity to be added to the trust’s staff bank register and potentially take paid shifts.
The trainees may also be able to progress onto an apprenticeship in Health and Social Care. Danielle Turner, 20, hopes the course will be her route to a career in mental health. “I am really excited to get started on the wards,” said the mum-of-one from Keighley. “I have always had an interest in mental health. It is an area that is underfunded, understaffed and under researched. “I hope to move onto the apprenticeship after the traineeship and establish a real career for myself in this area.”
Neil Harris, Staff Bank Resourcing Manager for BDCFT, said: “The traineeship is a great way of attracting people into the profession. “Being a short course it gives the trainees a glimpse into the work without them committing to a lengthy course. If they enjoy it and see a career for themselves they can progress. “These are the mental health nurses of the future. It may take them time to get there but it is possible.
“Outside of this programme they might not have had the chance to do an apprenticeship or have the qualifications to do a degree. And with a need to cut down on agency costs, it is great that these trainees could be joining the pool of staff in a number of weeks. “Hopefully this pilot will be the first of many courses.” Wesley McGlinchey, Head of Department, Health and Social Care, at Bradford College, said: “We are proud to be working with the trust on this new traineeship and to be helping develop the future workforce to serve the local community. “The course offers a great combination of classroom-based learning and on-the-job training to enhance the trainees’ employment prospects and career options. “I want to congratulate the trainees who have impressed us with their efforts and enthusiasm in the classroom and we wish them well for the hospital-based element of the traineeships.”