Three young people started integrated health and social care apprenticeships in October – the first in Devon.
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and Devon County Council have teamed up to provide apprenticeship opportunities across both health and social care for the first time. The Trust and the Council have both offered lots of apprenticeship programmes as separate organisations, but this is the first time they’ve joined up to provide apprenticeship opportunities that cover both types of care.
The move reflects the closer working and integration between health and social care in Devon, with teams of nurses, occupational therapists and social care workers working together to deliver care that is centred around the individual, whether they need support at home, or in a care home, or have been admitted to hospital and need support to return to their usual residence.
Gail Richards, training manager and apprentice lead at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Our health and social care apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity to learn about the different types of care that are being delivered in different health and social care environments, and there has been a great deal of interest in them – we had 42 applicants.
“Nothing like this has happened in Devon before, so I am very excited to support these students on their journey and see their careers flourish.”
During their 18-month apprenticeships, the three apprentices will work within Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, Woodland Vale residential home in Torrington, which specialises in providing support for people living with dementia, and Barnstaple Day Services, which provides services for people with learning disabilities.
Geraldine Benson, principal social worker at Devon County Council, said:
“The integrated health and social care apprenticeships are a great way of discovering the wealth of opportunities in health and social care.”
The apprentices will also complete their Level 2 QCF Clinical Healthcare support award, and Care Certificate and Clinical Competencies qualifications.
Amanda Shobrook, Health Education England’s workforce transformation lead for Devon and Cornwall, said: “The old distinction between health and social care is gradually becoming a thing of the past. Today, the different professions are increasingly becoming integrated, with multidisciplinary teams focusing on supporting individuals.
“It’s fantastic that apprenticeship schemes are reflecting this integration, and that our apprentices will experience working across the spectrum of care.
“These apprenticeships will provide hands-on experience of working in health and social care, and with vulnerable people with a range of abilities and conditions.”
The apprenticeships are part of a commitment by Devon County Council and NHS organisations across Devon to support the health and social care sector. Together they are promoting Proud to Care Devon, a campaign to raise the profile of careers in health and social care, celebrate the value of care work, and encourage more people to apply for jobs in the sector.
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust are also recruiting apprentices in health and social care.