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Southport Reporter

Edition No. 86

Date:- 14 February 2003

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Report by Sarah Poulson.

SOUTHPORT and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has piloted a scheme developed by NHSU, the new corporate university for the NHS to help unemployed people in the area back into work.

The trust is the first in the country to carry out this NHSU scheme and has guaranteed employment to nine people who will start on 14 February having completed a specially commissioned training programme.

“Health Learning Works” aims to give individuals access to jobs and method of progression within the NHS.  The scheme is a result of a partnership between the Job Centre Plus and the Government Office for the North West and NHSU.  The new corporate University for the NHS.  The course attended by students has been commissioned from Manchester College of Arts and Technology (MANCAT).

Nine trainees of varying ages and backgrounds have completed the course and will take up their jobs, ranging from ward housekeeping, pottering, sterile supplies, administrative and clerical work from the following Monday.

Parsing the students, who graduated on Friday was Mr. Andrew Johnson, the Chairman of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust who said, “I’m delighted to welcome these new staff members to the NHS.  They have wanted a career in the health service and have worked hard to complete the training programme.  When they arrive in their new jobs on Monday, they will be ready to take on tasks given to them.  This is a very workable solution to the problems of recruitment in the NHS.”

Sharon Partington, Deputy Director of Personnel at the Trust said, “We are delighted to be the first Trust in the NHS to put this NHSU program into action.  It is a simple idea, but one which has already worked for the NHS as well as for the people looking for work.   Working for the NHS as well as for the people looking for work.  Working in partnership we have delivered a tangible result for the NHS and ultimately improving the service for the patients.” 

Keith Waterhouse the NHSU’s course leader for Health Learning Works added, “We have put in place a team to support these new staff, giving them help and guidance that will enable them to develop long lasting, rewarding careers and make a significant contribution to patient care.”

Now there are plans to extend the scheme to different areas of the UK, according to Dr. Paul Hauch of NHSU. “This is the tip of the iceberg.  This new route to a career in the NHS will act as a beacon to encourage the less well represented groups to bring their talents to a modernised NHS”

Southport Reporter is Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2003.