Virtual certificate presentation

A virtual certificate presentation has been held for colleagues who have successfully completed a healthcare assistant course.

The presentation was held virtually, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the colleagues, their managers and their tutors unable to meet in the same room physically.

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust’s new 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 new training programme for healthcare assistants (HCAs) 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. The first cohort began their programme in January 2019 and there have now been four cohorts. Cohort five was interrupted by COVID-19.

Sue Prebble, Project Lead, who organised the training and virtual event, said: “I was apprehensive as this is the first time for a virtual presentation, but it seemed to work well. All eight of the attendees were able to be present albeit from home, which was fantastic. It was the next best thing to us all being in a room together.

“We’ve done some bespoke sessions and adapted the programme as we’ve gone along, to continually make it better.

“We’ve introduced a patient experience session, where we have a patient representative and a carer come along to tell about their experiences and this has been very powerful.

“We’ve had very positive feedback with colleagues saying it has made them feel more confident, they’ve increased their skills and knowledge and developed in their roles. After the course, one member of staff was given a promotion.”

The virtual certificate presentation was held on Microsoft Teams.

Dawn Levett, Strategic Delivery Manager Urgent Care, said: “We were sorry we were not able to get together. It was different, but hopefully a pleasant experience.”

Post-COVID-19, the team is looking to see if it could deliver some of the training virtually. Dawn said: “We must think, virtual first.”