Healthcare Recruitment Initiative Proving a Success

A new initiative to recruit healthcare professionals in Lothian is going from strength to strength.

The National Certificate in Health Care Studies – which offers successful students a guaranteed position as a healthcare support worker – has been so successful that more training places are being offered this month.

The initiative, which began in September 2013, is a partnership between NHS Lothian and Edinburgh College.  Students who successfully complete the course will take up a guaranteed position as a healthcare support worker with NHS Lothian.  As well as academic studies and practical work placements, the course includes a full NHS induction so that graduates will be prepared for placement and ready to start work immediately after they complete the course in June this year.

Students are interviewed jointly by Edinburgh College and NHS Lothian to achieve their place on the course.  They attend Edinburgh College’s Sighthill Campus for three days a week where they study for their National Certificate in Health Care Studies.  The first half of the course sees students spend one day per week on placement as a Clinical Support Worker (CSW), supervised by an experienced CSW or a junior staff nurse.  During the second half of the course, time on placement increases to two days per week, to build strong practical skills.

Student Graham Begg said: “So far I am really enjoying the academic part of the course especially the biology and physiology. I have secured a placement at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital as I have a real interest in working with people with mental health issues.”

Fellow student Nancy Azuzena Wayte added: “This course is perfect for me as I already have some medical qualifications from my home country and worked in a nursing home. I want to continue my studies and this course is helping me gain the right qualifications to eventually qualify as a nurse. I am excited about working with patients again at my placement at Liberton Hospital.”

Another student, Jo Samson, explained: “The course has been great so far and I like the fact that I will get a job with NHS Lothian at the end if I am successful with my studies and placement. All the tutors are really friendly and helpful and the content of the course is very interesting.

“I like going out on placement quite quickly as it gives you the chance to put some of the things you learn in college into practice. I am on placement at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, working in a mental health setting as this is the area I would like to work in the future.”

Alan Boyter, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, NHS Lothian, said: “We’re proud to be working with Edinburgh College on this initiative as it will guarantee a clear career path for these talented and ambitious individuals to become Health Care Support Workers in NHS Lothian and serve communities throughout the region.”

Mandy Exley, Principal at Edinburgh College, said:  “We already work closely with NHS Lothian and I am delighted to develop this relationship further.  Edinburgh College attaches great importance to working closely with employers and training our students with the knowledge and skills needed to fill skills gaps in the region.  This course includes an important blend of academic studies and practical experience which leads to the development of skilled professionals able to make an immediate difference in the healthcare industry in Edinburgh and the Lothians.”