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Mental health support staff to complete new Care Certificate

Recruits joining Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust are to sign up to a new Care Certificate as part of a national initiative which aims to improve staff training and drive better standards of care across the NHS.

The certificate will be introduced for all new clinical support staff on 1 April. It will be used to induct and train all new support workers, and will ensure they meet a set of 15 quality standards before they are able to work autonomously with service users.

The certificate, which takes around 12 weeks to complete, has been introduced by Health Education England following an independent review of the recruitment and training offered to healthcare assistants across health and social care.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is among the first NHS trusts in the country to embrace the new scheme after taking part in a national pilot run last year, which helped to shape the way the certificate has been put together.

Kim Boggan, Support Workforce Development Coordinator at the Trust, said: "The Care Certificate is an important initiative which will ensure staff who are new to health and social care meet the highest standards.

"It will also ensure they have the right skills and knowledge to carry out their role to the best of their ability, in turn benefiting both them as individuals and the service users they are working with.

"We are proud to have been involved in the pilot for this important project, which also gave our Trust a head start when it comes to implementing this important new standard.

"We will be offering help and support to all of our new recruits to help them complete the certificate, which forms as key element of our on-going drive for quality improvement."

Once complete, the certificate is portable, which means it will be recognised by a new employer if staff move to a different care support role in another healthcare organisation.