Doncaster health trust staff pilot new role to improve care for patients

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Staff involved in the training and education of health workers at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals are piloting a new role which will help improve care for patients.

The Assistant Practitioner role has been introduced as part of an 18 month pilot scheme, jointly funded by Health Education England and the Trust, in partnership with Sheffield College, to better meet the needs of the region’s workforce.

The new role will help bridge the skills gap between an experienced Health Care Assistant and a Registered Nurse. The first group of 22 trainees embarked on their 18 month development programme at the end of January, with a further five starting 30 March.

Once qualified the 27 trainee Assistant Practitioners will support staff on specialist wards and clinical departments across Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Bassetlaw Hospital and Montagu Hospital. They will also contribute to care for older patients and those with conditions of the muscles and skeleton (bones).

Cindy Storer, Head of Nursing and Quality for the Trust’s Muscular Skeletal and Frailty Care Group, said: “We are very pleased to be part of this collaborative venture. The aim of which is to have staff working at a higher level than a Health Care Assistant and who will take an active part of the Multi-Disciplinary Team within the ward.

“Introducing this new role is a stepping stone to nurse training with a recognised qualification and confirms our commitment to invest in all grades of staff.”

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals is one of several trusts across The Humber and Yorkshire region involved in the trainee assistant practitioner project. The scheme has been introduced to help NHS trusts to better meet the changing health needs of the populations they care for.