Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logosColeg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logos

Coleg Llandrillo and Betsi Cadwaladr celebrate Healthcare Practice HE learners

A celebratory event was held at Venue Cymru recently to mark the academic achievements of over 100 healthcare support workers from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB)

Coleg Llandrillo and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) recently held a celebratory event for Healthcare Practice Higher Education learners.

The event, at Venue Cymru, was held to mark the academic achievements of over 100 healthcare support workers from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

The healthcare support workers gained the Level 4 Certificate in Higher Education in Healthcare Practice following secondment to Coleg Llandrillo for one day per week, over one year, by their healthcare employer. All successful graduates studied in healthcare settings during the unprecedented post-pandemic pressures, making their achievements even more remarkable.

The programme develops higher-level knowledge and skills, which enables the healthcare support workers to apply for increasing numbers of roles that extend their responsibilities. It also means the healthcare support workers can carry out higher-level duties within their post, therefore meeting the workforce needs of the health board. The intensive course involves academic assessment at college and assessment within the workplace by clinically qualified NHS staff.

The programme results from a strong and committed strategic partnership between Coleg Llandrillo, Betsi Cadwaladr and Bangor University.

It provides the potential for progression directly to the second year of the Bachelor of Nursing (BN) programmes at university providers in the North Wales region and beyond. The programme has grown significantly since 2013 with a single cohort of eight students, and the numbers have increased yearly. From September 2023, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai is commissioned by Health Education Improvement Wales to deliver the programme to 220 seconded healthcare support workers across health, primary care and social care during the 2023-24 academic year.

Speakers at the Venue Cymru event were Dafydd Evans, Chief Executive Officer for Grŵp Llandrillo Menai; Chris Lynes, Deputy Executive Director of Nursing for BCUHB; Lawrence Wood, Principal of Coleg Llandrillo; Martin Riley, Deputy Director of Education, Commissioning and Quality Nursing Directorate at Health Education Improvement Wales, Paul Flanagan, Director of Higher Education at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai; and Stephanie Williams and Kelly Duff as successfully completing learners.

Chris Lynes said: “It was an honour to attend and celebrate the day with the students and their guests. The day marked the culmination of a journey of hard work and commitment from the students and the successful partnership between Coleg Llandrillo, Bangor University and the Health Board.

“I was very proud to present to the successful learners, and I wish the Healthcare Support Workers a fulfilled and enjoyable career in healthcare.”

Support for the programme from the Welsh Government (through Health Education and Improvement Wales) has meant there are now opportunities for those who complete the programme to apply for part-time BN studies to become fully qualified Nursing practitioners. At the same time, they retain their healthcare support post within the health board. This means North Wales has a thriving real career pathway opportunity for those wishing to progress within healthcare support to full clinical qualification as a nurse.

Martin Riley Deputy Director, Education, Commissioning and Quality Nursing Directorate, Health Education Improvement Wales, said: “It was inspiring to see the learners graduating and hearing the stories of their education journeys.

“These individuals are embedded in the local community and make a massive difference in the services they work in. They are motivated and innovative and enhance patients' safe and quality care. HEIW looks forward to working in Partnership with GLLM and the Health Board to offer even more opportunities to develop our valued Support Worker workforce.”

Dafydd Evans, Chief Executive at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, said: "Addressing so many highly motivated and professional practitioners who are being recognised for their achievements has been an absolute pleasure. Their success is a testament to the close working between Coleg Llandrillo's academic team and BCUHB, and reflects the collaborative partnerships that are the core of our approach with employers at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.”

Recipients of the awards also enjoyed networking opportunities and a delicious buffet lunch served by Venue Cymru staff.

Attendees at the event included the achieving students, their guests and workplace mentors, senior leaders at BCUHB, Health Education and Improvement Wales, colleagues from Bangor and Wrexham University and college staff involved with the programme.

Please click here to learn more about Higher Education courses at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.

To see more pictures from the ceremony, go to Coleg Llandrillo's Facebook page.