The pilot cohort of the North West London Higher Development Award (HDA) for health care support workers (HCSWs) completed their last study day on 26 June. The programme was launched in November 2016 with the ethos of “being the best whilst acknowledging potential”. Ten HCSWs took part in the pilot and the programme culminated in the presentation of their service improvement projects and awarding of their certificates. The programme was accredited by Skills for Health, OCN London and a certificate of completion for all five modules was awarded by Health Education England's north west London local team.
We were joined by Jane Hadfield, National Programme Manager Talent for Care, Richard Griffin, Project Director (Skills and Employability) HEE, NHS trust HCSW leads and line managers for the candidates. The learning process for this programme surpassed expectations in terms of peer support, group learning and assurance of the impact they have in carrying out their role. This has resulted in increased confidence within their job, being able to demonstrate learning in the workplace and also their lifelong learning skills, addressing maths and english. A support worker role is tough – it is diverse and multi-faceted – and the HDA has provided a foundation of leadership skills to underpin the care they deliver every day.
Inspirational projects were presented from all HCSW on the cohort on the improvement projects they had implemented in their workplace, including splints for stroke patients, reducing phlebotomy waiting times, the importance of name badges to name a few. Each improvement project will be followed up in six months and support provided to ensure they are embedded in their workplace.
Well done to all our fantastic support workers for their dedication and achievement!