One of the benefits of having an NHS partner in domiciliary care is the access you’ll get to the NHS skills and experience to aid with your recruitment and retention. It is as important for us as you that we are successful in encouraging local people who are passionate about care to consider rewarding careers in care. We would like to start describing the clear pathway between personal care and careers in the NHS and social care so we both benefit.

It is a clear aspiration that more and more care will be delivered in people’s homes and we need to make sure our workforce is ready for the needs of our future patients and clients.

I am writing to alert you to three important and locally-driven schemes to support workforce development in caring careers, and encourage you to take action as required.

  1. NMDS database

The National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) is an online workforce data collection system for the social care sector. It’s the leading source of robust workforce intelligence for adult social care. To register your business on the NMDS-SC database go to https://www.nmds-sc-online.org.uk/

We are encouraging all our providers to keep the NMDS database up to date with your staffing picture. DCC uses this data to inform their Proud to Care www.proudtocaredevon.org.uk campaign and it will be really important to know that our efforts to improve recruitment and retention are working. Please do upload your vacancies to www.dct.org.uk, which links to www.proudtocaredevon.org.uk .  A major Proud to Care publicity campaign is starting across the South West in July 2017 (including Sky TV advertising, press and multi-media advertising) and jobseekers will be directed to the local Proud to Care Devon website.

An added advantage for you is that the CQC take data from the NMDS which means you only need to collect and enter this data once and you will have it available for any CQC inspection/queries. The other advantage is that submitting data allows access to discounted/free training and qualifications for your staff – click here for more information http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Learning-development/Funding/Funding.aspx

Please note: The fund has now closed for 2016/17 but they will update the website as soon as they have more information about the fund for 2017/8.

  1. The Care Academy

The Care Academy is a ground breaking and prestigious initiative developed by Petroc and Northern Devon Healthcare Trust with support from Health Education South West. It provides real-life ‘as it happens’ work placement opportunities for young people who are interested in developing a career in health and social care and explores the wide range of careers available within the NHS.

Students will work alongside NHS staff at NDDH while studying one of the following courses at Petroc:

  • L2 – Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • L3 – BTEC 60 Credit Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • L3 – BTEC 90 Credit Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • L3 – BTEC Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care

We feel this is of interest to our Devon Cares partners because you have frequently told us that some of your new joiners aren’t always aware of what a career in care involves. We have designed these courses with Petroc to ensure that we encourage people who are passionate about care into careers in Northern Devon.

For more information on The Care Academy scheme visit https://www.petroc.ac.uk/students/academies-clubs/care-academy

  1. Devon National Skills Academy ‘Centre of Excellence’

The National Skills Academy for Health has established an Excellence Centre in Devon, which is hosted by Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust. As the regional hub, NDHT is developing strong collaborations between training providers and health and social care employers from the public, private, independent and voluntary sectors to share training expertise and make best use of skills development facilities. We have a quarterly network meeting to which any Devon Cares Partner is welcome to join. More information can be accessed via http://www.nsahealth.org.uk/devon-excellence-centre or by contacting katiemilton@nhs.net