On a recent visit to Bath College, CEO David Smallacombe explained some of the key issues facing the health, social care and support sector.  He heard that Bath College is keen to work closely with employers in the sector particularly in terms of recruiting staff and then motivating them to gain further skills though training.

For example, at the recently launched Care Academy at the College, employers ran hands on workshops for health and social care students on topics such as supportive communication for people living with dementia, mental health awareness and five ways to wellbeing.  As Sally Wilson, Care Academy Coordinator, explains: “There was a real buzz in the Care Academy, with students sharing their experiences with staff and their peers. The variety of workshops on offer was fantastic and gave them a real insight into the broad range of careers and environments they could work in within the sector. We are very grateful to all network partners who have facilitated exciting sessions.” Events such as this can help employers to spot talent and offer work experience and future employment to students. 

The College also runs health and social care taster sessions to attract people into the sector and offers Health and Social Care and Business Administration apprenticeships as a route for practical skill development in the workplace. 

 In terms of retaining staff, the College offers short courses often at no cost to the employer in areas such as care planning, infection control and dementia care.  As Rosaleen Courtney, Contracts and Distance Learning Manager, explains: 'The training can help staff to develop their confidence and knowledge in specific areas and can be very motivational.' After induction, staff can learn at a time to suit them either online or through workbooks with the help of a specialist tutor and try out their new skills in the workplace.  This also helps the organisation to demonstrate continuing professional development at CQC inspection time.  *

 You can hear more from Bath College at the next Care and Support West meeting when we will discuss the topic ' Care as a career.'  In the meantime, if you would like more information on short courses please contact Bath College:

 *Additional information on short courses

The following short courses are available to meet individual staff development needs in the health, social care and support sector: Dementia Care, Dignity and Safeguarding, Equality and Diversity, Infection Control, Principles of Care Planning, Safe Handling of Medication and Working with People with Mental Heath Needs.   Courses which may also be of interest are available in Cleaning Principles and Customer Service.