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Staff support and training

Newcastle Hospitals is committed to developing its employees. Investing in people enhances the skills of individual members of staff, so increasing the capability of the Trust and improving our service to patients.

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Structured development

We invest to ensure structured development and training is provided to all staff groups, and it: 

  • provides the mandatory, technological and legislative training necessary for the provision of services;
  • provides professional development for staff;
  • places importance on externally recognised competencies and qualifications in the development of staff.

Active support and training is available for nurses and midwives through induction, preceptorship and ongoing staff development programmes.   The continuous development of nursing staff remains a high priority within the organisation, with a range of clinical and leadership opportunities being made available.


Nurse InductionShow [+]Hide [-]

The Trust is committed to ensuring all staff are properly inducted into our organisation, their department and job.  The induction course aims to give a general, overall picture of the organisation including its history, general management, personnel matters, staff benefits, equal opportunities, your pay and pension, occupational health, security and other important Trust policies including health and safety, moving and handling and fire regulations.  The course is held at regular intervals. All new members of staff must be released to attend this course.

PreceptorshipShow [+]Hide [-]

Many people find the transition from a student to a registered nurse or midwife, or even a move to a different practice area, very daunting. The Nursing and Midwifery Council advises that all newly registered practitioners or a registrant who has returned to practice following a break of five years or more, or a registrant changing their area of practice should have a formal period of support under the guidance of a preceptor for a minimum of four months (N&MC 2006). 

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust adheres to a preceptorship policy which encompasses the N&MC advice. The average period of support will vary according to individual needs from 3–6 months.  Clinical Directorates have developed preceptorship guides/portfolios to address the specific clinical needs of new practitioners to the Directorate and the Trust have a Generic Preceptorship Framework to reflect the Knowledge and Skills Framework (DoH 2004).

Appraisals and Personal Development PlansShow [+]Hide [-]

The Trust recognises that every nurse has a contribution to make towards the overall success of the Trust. To develop this contribution, the Trust is committed to a process of reviewing individuals’ progress, setting objectives and providing development opportunities. The Trust requires that all staff are given the opportunity to have an annual appraisal. This is an opportunity to look at achievements and to set new objectives for the year ahead. Any training and development needs arising from the new objectives can be discussed and planned for at the same time as the appraisal is carried out.

Newcastle is committed to developing its employees. Investing in people enhances the skills of individual members of staff, so increasing the capability of the Trust and improving our service to patients. The Trust will invest to ensure structured development and training is provided to all staff groups, and will:

  • Provide the mandatory, technological and legislative training necessary for the provision of services
  • Provide professional development for staff
  • Place importance on externally recognised competencies and qualifications in the development of staff.

Staff Development ProgrammesShow [+]Hide [-]

The Trust is committed to the investment of resources in education, training, development and is supportive to each nurse being provided with opportunities to continuously develop through their career. There are a wide range of ‘in-house’ training courses and development initiatives available to staff, many of which are provided on a multi-professional basis, to facilitate collaborative working and enhance understanding of others roles. The specific purpose of practice development at Newcastle is to ensure that all care is:

  • Centred on the patient (not on the needs of the staff)
  • Based on evidence (ie based on published data, good practice guidelines and feedback from patients)
  • Appropriate for the needs of each patient
  • Effective (ie 'it works')

There are Clinical Nurse Educators or practitioner/lecturers in many clinical area. They work closely with all members of the healthcare team and they help coach and teach staff to facilitate the improvements at patient and ward level, and spread good clinical practices across the Trust to achieve improvements in essential care.

An example of Staff Development Programmes include:

  • Tracheostomy Programme - tracheostomy study days are held six times a year covering the immediate needs of the tracheostomy patient and longer term aspect of care.

Being with PatientsShow [+]Hide [-]

“Being with Patients” is the vision of Brigid Reid a Nurse Consultant at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. Being with Patients utilises a whole range of teaching and learning techniques in order to change and enhance practice.The programme uses patient’s experiences of care: 

  • To positively influence understanding of what it means to be a patient. 
  • To reflect on practice and feel valued for caring behaviours 
  • To acquire practical strategies to enhance patients’ experiences of care. 

There is no doubt that staff support the concept of being person or patient centred yet the experiences of patients suggest that putting this into practice isn’t yet universal. The concept of ‘being with’ is used to emphasise that ‘how we are’ is as important as ‘what we do’. The approach uses actors to convey how patients have experienced care and is much more about learning in and from practice than traditional ‘training’ has been. Staff who have participated in the programme in East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust have evaluated the work very positively. Use of the programme with an entire ward team demonstrated a positive shift in the attitudes and behaviours of staff with associated benefits on patient’s experiences of care (Reid 2006).

Using actors to convey patient’s and service users’ experiences is a method used by other disciplines and industries to deliver such work creatively and sensitively. In addition great emphasis is placed on:

  • Constructive feedback
  • Supportive Culture
  • Appropriate use of time
  • Celebrating good practice

Currently the approach utilises two integral strands of key work outlined below:

Enhanced Skills Development Programme for Clinical Leaders

This runs in the form of 5 core days for a maximum of 10 participants. Targeting clinical leaders in the workplace capitalises on awareness raising and promoting the realisation of a team approach that is person centred in its actions as well as its aspirations.

Awareness Day for all Healthcare Staff

This is for groups of 50 staff whose clinical leaders have participated in the Enhanced Skills Course. The aim of the day is for participants to understand what it means to be a patient. The day is structured using scenes/performances developed using the themes identified from interviews with people who have been patients. These promote discussion about patients’ experiences and healthcare professionals’ roles in enhancing them.

The first programme was delivered in Newcastle in October and November 2006 and feedback from the Newcastle experience was similar to that of East Lancashire with the awareness day evaluating extremely well. Having successfully completed a first programme it was decided to deliver further programmes.

It is hoped that this new approach to learning will recapture the essence of nursing and make patients want to be cared for in Newcastle by nurses who can spend time “being” as well as “doing”.

NVQsShow [+]Hide [-]

The Trust holds accredited National Vocational Centre Status, enabling the provision of NVQ’s in a range of topics, including Care and Administration.  As these programmes are delivered and supported in-house, the achievement of vocational awards is closely linked to the delivery of high quality patient care.

Click onto the Skills for Health website for more information about qualifications and competence frameworks available.

Other in-house programmesShow [+]Hide [-]

Other educational programmes we provide in-house include:

  • Healthcare Assistants (HCA) Programme - for HCAs and related disciplines
  • Staff Nurse Ingration Programme - for newly registered nurses and return to practice nurses
  • Experienced Staff Nurse Programme - experienced registered nurses and midwives to provide ongoing support
  • Nurse Leadership Development Programme  -  incorporating managerial and leadership issues appropriate to the role of senior registered nurses and midwives
  • Ward Managers' Effectiveness Programme - for sisters and senior registered nurses and midwives in charge of their ward or unit

More information

For more details about staff support and training in Newcastle Hospitals, please contact: 

  • Emma Shipley, Head of Training and Development
  • Tel: 0191 213 7511
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