Last updated: 04.01.14

UK would benefit from Devon healthcare training initiative

A healthcare training scheme originally developed by nurses in Devon could go nationwide following its success in the local community.

Since the launch of the initiative in April 2012, avoidable hospital admissions to the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust dropped from 109 to 54 in June 2013, reports the Guardian. Anecdotal evidence also showed that there was a decline in cases of adult safeguarding.

The Trust has now received a cash injection from Devon County Council to grow the scheme in 20 nursing care homes across four North Devon market towns, and the training team is expanding to include occupational therapists.

Chief executive of NHS England Sir David Nicholson is hoping the programme - which is designed to improve the clinical skills of care home support staff - will be extended to the rest of the UK.

According to Chris Thomas, health and social care cluster manager at the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, Mr Nicholson singled out the organisation at the Guardian Public Services Awards 2013 and said: "This has to go out across the NHS."

Because of the high praise the training scheme has received, local agencies that offer support to people in their own homes are liaising with the Trust.

Mr Thomas commented: "The domiciliary agencies are hugely keen and are talking not only about what they need to provide for their clients, but what they can do for their own staff to make their jobs more interesting."

The Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust won the partnership excellence category at the Guardian awards ceremony, which was held in November 2013.

Some of the best healthcare professionals are set to be mentioned at the Lean Healthcare Academy's Annual Conference & Awards event taking place on February 6th 2014. 

Hosted by top e-learning provider Virtual College, the conference is now in its sixth year and the number one location to share best practice and reward achievement in the healthcare sector.