Achievements celebrated at virtual graduation

Virtual certificate presentation HCAs

A virtual certificate presentation took place for healthcare assistants and senior healthcare assistants at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) who have completed an in-house course to improve competencies and skills.

Those receiving their certificates were congratulated on their effort and hard work during what has been a challenging year with their “graduation” including congratulatory comments from the course leader and managers.

KCHFT’s healthcare assistant and senior healthcare assistant competency programme came about as a result of a quality improvement (QI) project which took an in-depth look at staff skills in urgent care in east Kent and aimed to make improvements for patients and colleagues.

The training programme, which had its first cohort in January 2019, is a five-day scheme, taken over six months. It includes a work handbook and competency sign-off sheets and clinical observation skills training, which includes taking a patient’s temperature, pulse, respiration, blood pressure, pulse oximetry, blood sugar levels and urinalysis.

The programme results in HCAs having increased skills across a range of areas. Cohort five was interrupted by COVID-19 and Cohort six had to do all of their theory lessons online. Going forward, the training is likely to be a mixture of face-to-face training and virtual lessons.

Sue Prebble, KCHFT project lead in urgent care in east Kent, who organised the training and virtual event, said: “Cohort seven have nearly finished and Cohort eight is in the pipeline. There have been lots of changes to services and teams and of course the pandemic, so we have continued to adapt and develop the programme, so that it meets all needs.

“For those who have achieved their competencies over the last year, I think this is incredible, when it has been so challenging. We wanted to do something to recognise their achievement and hard work. People have gained extra skills and been successful in getting higher pay bands. I’d like to say a big well done to them all.”

Holly Carver, an HCA in Rapid Response, was one of those who received her certificate at the virtual event. She said: “I have learned so much. The experience of meeting with lots of different teams has been so useful. I really enjoyed it.”

Tina Tappenden, also an HCA in Rapid Response said: “The course was efficient and well put together.”

Bronte Hirst, a rehab support worker in Adult Clinical Services, said: “There were good resources throughout and there was great support too.”

Dawn Levett, KCHFT Strategic Delivery Manager, Urgent Care, Adult Clinical Services, attended the ceremony and said: “It is so good to celebrate achievements. It was very inspirational to hear how those who attended the course had such a valuable experience, especially during this exceptional time we’ve all been through.”

Find out more about the course and the QI project here on our QI website.