12 January 2022
People needing care are receiving better services because of a pilot programme that changed the way health and social care staff in west Wales are trained.
The pilot project, run by Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire local authorities working with Hywel Dda University Health Board and Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) and Social Care Wales (SCW), has been highlighted by the Social Care Institute for Excellence.
An evaluation of the project said that the joint model of health and social care induction training created positive changes in practice and better outcomes for people who use care and support services.
The councils, health board and HEIW worked together on the pilot between 2019 and 2021.
Over 160 members of staff completed the programme - 120 of them also successfully completing a Level 2 Health and Social Care qualification.
The induction training supported new workers in their first months of employment and covered topics such as principles and values, person-centred care and safeguarding, as well as health and safety, dementia and essential health observations.
Experienced practitioners from health and social care, along with specialists, acted as tutors and mentors to support staff undergoing their training.
The Social Care Institute for Excellence found the pilot increased learners’ confidence and competence, and supported workforce recruitment and retention.
It also said that effective joint working between health and social care was essential to the pilot’s success.
Jonathan Griffiths, Chair of the Regional Workforce Programme Board, said: “The joint induction pilot has shown some excellent outcomes in ensuring that our health and care staff are supported to provide a high standard of care.
“The roll out of the programme will be taken forward as one of our priorities for west Wales through our regional workforce programme board.”
Mandy Rayani, Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience at Hywel Dda University Health Board, added: “I’m delighted that the pilot has proven to be a success and very pleased that we can say we have the first integrated health and social care post in Wales to manage the programme.
“It’s been a fully collaborative approach, which has enabled us to set standards for all new health care support workers who join the sectors. This approach has ensured that those workers have the right principles, values, understanding and skills to make sure that the needs of those who use our services are met.”