22 November 2023

Ribbon cutting at the opening of the centre

The Trust, which runs the county’s two acute hospitals, has been recognising learners and newly qualified nurses at a special celebration.

A Learning and Development Celebration was held as part of The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust’s (SaTH) Recognition Week and more than 200 members of staff were recognised for their fantastic achievements over the last 12 months.

Plaque unveiled at SERIICertificates of recognition were handed out to staff, including for those who had successfully completed nursing degrees and apprenticeships.

Special awards were also presented to two exceptional members of staff for their outstanding services towards learning and development at the Trust.

Dr Kevin Eardley, Consultant Physician and Nephrologist, has been the driving force behind many learning and development pathways for improving health inequalities for vulnerable patient groups.

Judith Tudor, Talent & Succession Manager and Apprenticeship Lead, also received a special award for her passion in developing new and existing staff, and supporting the journeys of many apprentices in the Trust.

The event also saw the opening of the SaTH Education, Research and Improvement Institute (SERII) – a new teaching facility, based at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, which will support the training and development of medical students from Keele University and doctors in training, with a focus on interprofessional learning with other healthcare professionals.

It was opened by staff whose own stories showed why learning and development was important as part of the celebration day. They were Professor Koottalai Srinivasan, Francesca Farruggio, Sarah Sandy, Jamie Henry, Rejimon Abdul Khadir, Kally Williams and Aravind Bhaskaran.

Dr John Jones, Executive Medical Director at SaTH, said: “It is incredibly important that we enable a learning and innovative culture for colleagues across all our professions to realise our vision of delivering excellent care for the communities we serve.

“It was a wonderful day in the perfect location to bring together colleagues from different areas of the Trust and see how they have been able to develop and hone their skills to support high quality patient care, and where research can thrive and help us to transform and develop new models of care.”

Hayley Flavell, Director of Nursing at SaTH, said: “It was just incredible to hear the stories of how our staff are progressing on their learning and development journeys. What is evident is that they are all working to improve the care that they provide for our patients and the support on offer enables them to constantly improve.”

The new centre has five skills laboratories which simulate a clinical environment, as well as teaching classrooms.

It is part of the Trust’s ongoing commitment to continuous improvement, research and innovation to ensure patients are receiving high quality, evidence-based care.

SERII will also support the Trust’s ambitious plan to become a university hospital trust, helping to attract and retain highly skilled staff, by supporting them to learn together in a dedicated facility.

We have put the spotlight on some of those staff who were recognised for their achievements over the last 12 months.

Jamie Henry – Senior Practice Education Facilitator

Jamie Henry

Jamie became a Senior Practice Education Facilitator in August 2022 and has been leading the Education workstream for Healthcare Support Workers since June 2023.

Along with the team, Jamie supports new starters by delivering aspects of their training at Telford College, and once they join the Trust, they check in on them on the wards. They make sure there is support available for them during their supernumerary period.

Jamie says: “What I enjoy about the role is we see the learners when they start their careers in healthcare and see how they progress in just a few months.”

She is such an inspiration – she arrived in the UK as an overseas nurse in 2015 from the Philippines. She worked as a nurse on the acute medical unit and ITU.

Later, she became a professional development nurse for the international nursing team and she helped more than 500 international nurses prepare for and pass their exams, using her own experience as an overseas nurse to support and guide them.

Nursing has always been Jamie’s dream and her work continues to evolve. In her own words Jamie says that she now enjoys looking after the people who ‘look after’

Her aim along with the Trust is to deliver high standards of nurse training and support.

In July, Jamie was one of five SaTH colleagues who were selected to represent the Trust at Westminster Abbey for the NHS75 service. She was honoured to represent education, nursing and Healthcare Support Workers at the event.

Jamie, who also won the Rising Star Award in the Nursing Times Awards in 2021, said all the opportunities that had come her way were because of our Trust.

Sarah Sandy, Team lead Therapies, set up a Therapies Local Induction

Sarah Sandy

Sarah led a team to improve the induction process for new staff joining the Inpatient Therapy team at RSH.

The induction process within Therapies was not standardised and the quality variable, which led to a large turnover of staff with poor retention for various reasons.

Sarah set up a working party to include all therapy staff across all pay grades including new starters.

Other actions included producing an electronic booklet that could be emailed before their start date, including team information and hospital information and another which included contact numbers; developing a shadowing programme for the first four weeks into post and international recruits being assigned an international buddy for support before and after starting work.

At the end of the four-week induction programme, the team has been meeting with the new employees to evaluate the induction and how prepared they feel to start their role within Therapies. Each new staff member is given a feedback form to evaluate the process.feedback has been positive so far.

This has now led to a period of stable staffing with good retention. It is not possible to say that this is due to the induction process, but it has clearly had a positive impact on or new staff.

Francesca Farruggio – Education Support Unit Assistant Apprentice and now an Education Support Unit Co-Ordinator

Francesca Farruggio

Francesca was at Telford College studying Level 3 Health and Social Care when she decided that an apprenticeship would be a great way to follow a career pathway.

She was keen to work within the NHS because of the opportunities it offered and the different avenues you could follow, giving her the chance to develop and grow.

Francesca started a Business Administration Level 3 apprenticeship at SaTH in February, which will last 12-18 months.

She was successful in progressing to a Band 3 Education Support Unit Co-Ordinator and was thankful for the support of the team when she was allowed to continue with her apprenticeship.

Her apprenticeship entails attending college once a month and also completing her 20% off the job training.

Francesca says she is given plenty of opportunities to gain experience, perform new tasks and she is always doing something different.

She said: “The best thing about my apprenticeship would definitely be the number of opportunities it brings. The Trust and the Education Support Unit are incredibly supportive in providing training and courses to increase my skill set. SaTH is a very welcoming Trust.

Francesca is looking forward to completing her apprenticeship and developing to the next level once that is finished.

Kally Williams – Business Support Manager

Kally Williams

Kally Williams is a Business Support Manager who completed her Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship in August 2023.

Filled with drive and ambition, she wanted to enhance her career and develop an insight into business processes.  She discovered the apprenticeship at an education event hosted by the Trust.

Due to Kally undertaking her apprenticeship during the pandemic, she attended college sessions online, as well as attending one day a week of on-the-job training.

She says, “The best thing about my apprenticeship is the knowledge I have gained and putting it in to practice in my current role.”

Her day-to-day tasks entail managing project workstreams, whether these be for the International Project, Ward transition or clinical skills. She also manages the CPD funding for Nurses, Midwives and AHPs. By working closely with the recruitment, and pre- and post-reg nursing teams, Kally ensures an efficient service is delivered to employees.

Kally speaks highly of her colleagues and says “we’re a close team who have a great working relationship and are always willing to help each other out.”

She says she would highly recommend an apprenticeship, as “it enables you to continue in your current role whilst enhancing your skills and knowledge to further your development.”

Despite the COVID setbacks, she was the first student on the course to obtain a 100% pass rate across all exams and scored a distinction in the interview questions.

Paul Wenlock – Installation Electrician/Maintenance Electrician

Paul Wenlock

Paul has completed a four-year apprenticeship as an Installation Electrician/Maintenance Electrician – Level 3 NVQ

He joined the Trust in 2016 on an apprenticeship as a trainee maintenance engineer.

Paul said: “I always wanted to be an electrician and the first two courses were performing engineering operations at Level 2. They were a good foundation for the trade I wanted to specialise in, whether that be carpentry, plumbing or electrical.

“I went on to do electrical installation and the apprenticeship was four years with training and a lot of site experience and knowledge on new builds and refurbishments. I was working with contractors across sites on new projects and upgrades.

“It has been a good journey, I have pushed myself and so glad I have got Level 3 Installation Electrician/Maintenance, AM2 Final Assessment and 18th Edition. The knowledge I have gained is used in day-to-day activities from daily maintenance, planned maintenance and on-call service.

“There has been a lot of support from my colleagues and department, and also the training provided by Shrewsbury College over the four years. It has improved my confidence, competence and I am proud of the work that I do. I do the best that I can from the patient safety sides of things and regulations”.

Anita Chant-Clift – Registered Nurse
Anita Chant-Clift

Anita is now a Registered Nurse after starting as a Healthcare Assistant at our Trust – she is the perfect example of how with the right training and support you can follow a career pathway and realise your dream.

She was a Nursing Associate when she joined the first cohort on the degree apprenticeship.

Anita who is now based on the Acute Medical Unit at PRH said: “I am over the moon that I have reached my life goal and look forward to being the best I can be, supporting and caring for my patients, their loved ones and the team I have been welcomed into.”

In 2000/2001 Anita went on the Access to Health and Nursing course and whilst on that course she was encouraged by another student, who worked at the Trust, to apply to be a Healthcare Assistant at SaTH. She started work as an HCA in August 2002.

Later in her career, she moved to ward 10 (Frail and complex). She later qualified as a Nursing Associate after taking part in the Trainee Nursing Associate course, but still felt she was restricted on what she could help patients with, so decided to apply for the ‘Top-up programme’.

The ‘Top-up programme’ is a mix of university, working on the ward, study time and placement.

Aravind Bhaskaran – Registered Nurse on Ward 24 Respiratory

Aravind Bhaskaran

Aravind followed a similar pathway to Anita, starting as a Healthcare Assistant at the Trust and he is now a Registered Nurse on Ward 24 (Respiratory) at RSH.

He fulfilled his dream of becoming a Registered Nurse through two apprenticeship programmes as a Trainee Nursing Associate (TNA) and Nursing Associate (NA).

Aravind joined the Trust in 2013, working as a healthcare assistant in Opthalmology outpatients.

In 2017, Aravind was one of the first qualified Nursing Associates (NA) in the Trust and he said he was lucky enough to be able to do this by following the apprenticeship route as a Trainee Nursing Associate (TNA).

Aravind said it was a good opportunity to experience providing hands-on care to acutely ill patients. As a NA, he then had the opportunity to become a Registered Nurse through apprenticeship route.

He said: “An apprenticeship is a brilliant route for people to progress in their career without the financial commitment.”

“I love my patients and the most important aspect of patient care is providing holistic care to my patients, which involves dealing with their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. I liaise with the multi-disciplinary team and I am an advocate for my patients ensuring that things happen.”

And what would Aravind say to anyone who was thinking of following in his footsteps?

He said: “The selection process for the apprenticeship was rigorous, but I believe that if we have strong passion in what we are aiming for, we can achieve it. As adult learners, there will be several hurdles and hoops that we had to jump through, but it’s all worth taking the extra effort and it will pay off.”

Rejimon Abdul Khadir – Practice Education Facilitator

Rejimon Abdul Khadir

Rejimon Khadir joined the Trust through the International Nursing Project in 2020 as a Registered Nurse in the Nephrology unit.

He has been nominated for this award as a result of his excellent involvement in the Galvanise course. This course helps colleagues to develop their leadership and professional skills.

With two years at the Trust under his belt and looking to further his career, Rejimon secured a secondment as a Professional Development Nurse. Here, he was able to support other international nurses whilst they completed their OSCE. This led to a permanent contract, supporting Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) through their transition phases as Practice Education Facilitator.

Rejimon also supports post registered nurses and healthcare support workers to develop their core skills in their clinical practice.

“Nursing makes me happy, and I feel like I’m making a real difference to people’s lives. I strongly believe that I could have not progressed into this career without support and help from my colleagues and I would like to thank them,” said Rejimon.

By speaking to colleagues in different roles and shadowing in other departments, this helped Rejimon to decide on his career path.

He advises to “always look for educational opportunities to develop your skills and knowledge, as learning is lifelong process.”

He is currently working as a Practice Education Facilitator in the Post Registration team within Corporate Education.

Hayley Pearson – Deputy Chief Pharmacist

Hayley Pearson

Hayley Pearson, Deputy Chief Pharmacist at SaTH, took part on the SaTH 4 Leadership Programme which provided the opportunity to develop her leadership skills and network with other like-minded leaders.

The programme is aimed at senior leaders who are seeking to improve their leadership abilities. It is run over four days and is interactive.

Hayley said: “I moved into a new role as deputy chief pharmacist and really wanted to make sure I was the best leader I could be to my amazing team. I specifically wanted support in navigating how to successfully manage a large department across two hospital sites and be visible.

“My job was a new role, so not only was I getting to grips with it myself, but I also wanted to make sure it was embedded successfully in the team and across the organisation.

“The programme provided tailored leadership support to me, and it has given me the skills to feel confident in my role and lead my team successfully. I have implemented very practical processes to ensure my team is supported with all members of the team receiving 1:1s, wellbeing checks, improved communication and regular spotlights on successes within the team.”

Since taking part on the programme Hayley was offered a secondment as interim chief pharmacist and has also seen morale and productivity increase within her team.