NHS Lanarkshire staff are boosting their skills and knowledge through training programmes delivered by New College Lanarkshire and funded by the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF).
Scores of public healthcare employees are improving their medical, administrative and management abilities by undertaking courses taught by lecturing staff from the College.
Launched in September 2017, FWDF allows organisations subject to the Apprenticeship Levy to access funding for staff training and development.
A total of 238 staff members from NHS Lanarkshire have benefited from FWDF training over the last two years.
The organisation made use of the maximum amount of funding available from the government, which totalled £10,000 in 2017/18 and £15,000 in 2018/19.
The FWDF partnership between the College and NHS Lanarkshire currently extends to three training programmes: a half-day Minute Taking Skills course, a Medical Terminology course, and a bespoke ILM Level 2 Award in Leadership & Team Skills.
There are also plans for a bespoke course in Customer Care/Telephone Skills specifically designed for staff working in the Referral Management Service.
Courses are taught either at the Learning Centre within Law House, near Carluke, or at the College’s Motherwell Campus.
Staff enrolled in the Medical Terminology course study a half-day per week for 20 weeks to gain a formal HN unit qualification.
Agnes Robb, Learning & Development Manager for NHS Lanarkshire, said: “The staff currently participating in the Medical Terminology and ILM courses are also registered as students at the College and get the benefits associated with that.
“All of our FWDF-funded programmes are advertised internally and staff are encouraged to look at every opportunity to develop new, or enhance existing, skills.
“The courses are a great opportunity for staff to work towards gaining recognised qualifications that will help them develop personally and in their job roles within NHS Lanarkshire.”
The Medical Terminology course is taught by lecturer Margaret Henderson, who also works two days per week as a Nurse Practitioner in a GP practice in the East End of Glasgow.
She said: “We cover a lot of anatomy and physiology and how the medical terms relate to the different structures and parts of the body.
“When you know the anatomy, it’s easier to associate the terminology to different medical conditions.
“We’ve had very good feedback from those who have completed the course that it enhances their current work situations.”
Those who have enrolled in the course since it began have included secretaries, clinical coders, mental health support workers, community healthcare staff and GP receptionists.
Jenna Couston, a Clinical Coder who is based at University Hospital Wishaw, said the Medical Terminology course is helping her to perform her job more efficiently.
She commented: “My job is to look at discharge letters for patients who have been treated in hospital and code what they have been diagnosed with and any medical procedures they have had, which is then used for statistical analysis and in the planning and auditing of services.
“It’s been really helpful because in our job we come across new terminology all the time that I feel that I need to research, but through doing this course I’m not looking up definitions as often and I understand what certain words mean.”
New College Lanarkshire provides FWDF-funded training to a number of organisations and businesses, including Liberty Steel, Keppie Design, Inver House Distillers, Dawnfresh Seafoods, Amey, XPO Logistics, NL Leisure and ENABLE Scotland.
In addition to FWDF upskilling, the College also works closely with NHS Lanarkshire to deliver an employability programme to support unemployed people into clinical support roles as well as Modern Apprenticeships and SVQ qualifications.
Deborah Grant, Commercial Development Manager at New College Lanarkshire, said: “The introduction of the Flexible Workforce Development Fund has provided a fantastic opportunity for us to expand on our provision to NHS Lanarkshire, thereby supporting greater investment in NHS infrastructure and in addressing specific skills gaps, ultimately resulting in a more skilled, productive and engaged workforce.”
Read more about how you can improve your workforce through training with New College Lanarkshire here: www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/flexible-workforce-development-fund