Presenting to the students were Jo Whitehead, Chief Executive Officer at Betsi Cadwaldr and Angela Wood, Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery for Betsi Cadwaldr.
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.
The celebration event was the first event in 3 years since November 2019, due to the Covid pandemic. All successful graduates studied during the pandemic whilst working as key workers in healthcare settings 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, and it also means that 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 both academic assessment at college and assessment within the workplace by clinically qualified NHS staff within the workplace.
The programme is the result of a strong and committed strategic partnership between Coleg Llandrillo, Betsi Cadwaldr and Bangor University, and 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 first course began in 2013 with 12 students and the numbers have increased year on year. Over 100 seconded healthcare support workers will be enrolled during the 2022-23 academic year.
Angela Wood 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 as well as the successful partnership between Coleg Llandrillo, Bangor University and the Health Board. I was very proud to co-present the certificates and I would like to 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 that there are now opportunities for those who successfully complete the programme to apply for part-time BN studies, to study to become fully qualified Nursing practitioners, while they retain their healthcare support post within the health board. This means there is a thriving real career pathway opportunity in North Wales for those wishing to progress within healthcare support to full clinical qualification as a nurse.
Dr Paul Bevan, Executive Director at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai said "Seeing so many highly motivated and professional practitioners cross the stage to be recognised for their achievements has been an absolute pleasure. Their success is testament to the close working between Coleg Llandrillo's academic team and BCUHB, and their success is a reflection of the collaborative partnerships that are the core of our approach with employers at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.
Attendees at the event included the achieving students, their guests and workplace mentors, alongside senior leaders at the health board, Health Education and Improvement Wales and health board, university and college staff involved with the programme.
Presenters included Jo Whitehead, Angela Wood, Dr Paul Bevan and Higher Education Level 4 Certificate in Higher Education in Healthcare Practice graduates Kayne Barber and Linda Brown.
To find out more about Higher Education courses available at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai please click here.