Seven senior healthcare workers at Springhill Care Home in Accrington embarked on the 15-month assistant practitioner programme earlier in the year.
The programme closely adheres to many aspects of a registered nursing course, and will allow qualified staff to develop clinical and management skills. Springhill is one of the first care homes in the country to offer the course, as part of its commitment to maintaining excellent standards in care.
The role will allow healthcare workers to become practitioners in their own right, working alongside their nursing colleagues, taking on additional responsibilities and providing extra assistance, offering a tailor made solution to the national shortage of nurses experienced across the care sector.
The staff are progressing exceptionally well through the qualification, receiving much praise from their tutors who describe the learners as ‘dedicated and professional in their approach to the programme’. They recently completed an examination where several of the learners earned distinctions and merits.
Theresa Swan, learning and development manager at Springhill, said: “The national shortage of nurses within this sector is likely to last for many years. Therefore the assistant practitioner role is an excellent response to the problem, which will help to meet the challenges we face in health and social care.
“The group is progressing very well, and have just passed an examination in anatomy and physiology. This initiative will benefit not only the learners, but all our staff and their nurse colleagues. As a result, the residents of the home will experience an even higher level of service.”
Recent reports suggest the care sector has been one of the worst affected by nurse shortages, with statistics reflecting the number of nurses over the age of 55 is currently at 30 per cent, in comparison with 13 per cent across the NHS, meaning a higher proportion are nearing retirement age.