CCRNM researchers evaluate new work-based healthcare apprenticeship models

The Learn and Earn career pathway (LECP) was established in 2017 following a pilot by Islington, Haringey and Camden community education provider networks (CEPNs) and is managed via Community Matters. It attempted to address some of the perceived barriers to employers’ engagement with apprenticeships by means of administrative assistance, financial incentives and the development of a bespoke ‘apprenticeship-plus’ model where additional training, particularly clinical skills, are included within the offer. Specifically, it was set up to promote the career pathway towards nursing and to explore the viability of using apprenticeships as a sustained funding source for training required to progress along the pathway.  

The central ‘offer’ on the pathway was a Healthcare Assistant (HCA) programme, adapted to accommodate both newcomers to the HCA role (e.g. admin or reception staff) as well as experienced HCAs who want to gain the level 3 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support, and to develop additional clinical skills. The programme was based on a traditional apprenticeship model but with  additional clinical skills classrooms that reflect the tasks typically undertaken by HCAs in General Practice. 

Evaluation commissioned
In 2019 a research team from the Centre for Critical Research in Nursing and Midwifery Education in Middlesex University led by Mike O’Driscoll was commissioned to carry out an independent evaluation of the Learn and Earn project. The evaluation aims included understanding the take up of each course on the Learn and Earn pathway (numbers of employers/learners, profile, progress, outcomes, reasons for take up and barriers to take up);comparing progress against targets; understanding what worked well and what did not work well and evaluating the impact of project activities at individual/business and project level.

Evaluation methods
The mixed methods process evaluation which was completed in early 2020, involved an online survey, focus group and telephone  interviews with all stakeholders  (learners, training providers, employers, CEPNs and the project managers). It also included a ‘business case’ analysis of the project, providing  a tool to inform and support employer decision-making regarding placing learners on the LECP. The business case tool, developed by Dr Wendy Knibb, provides a structure around which employers can develop their consideration of key aspects of the decision-making process such as benefits and potential non-monetary benefits of training; costs and potential non-monetary costs to training; perceived risks/challenges of training and comparing the apprenticeship model to other training options.
The evaluation also provided an evaluation toolkit, to facilitate future evaluations.

Key evaluation findings included:
Learner’s main reasons for taking part in courses were  career development (86%), followed by wanting a role which involves more healthcare expertise (83%) and job satisfaction (72%). 62% said that they had taken part in course/s because they wanted to improve their employability and just over half (51%) chose ‘get a better salary or working arrangements’ and 38% did the course/s because they ‘want a role with more contact with public’.

Level 2 HCA Apprentices

Overall satisfaction with courses, which may have been negatively impacted by some initial teething problems, was moderate – however the vast majority of current learners  (84% ) reported feeling very or fairly confident about taking part in their current course and satisfaction with current course was high for peer interaction and support (79% very or fairly satisfied), employer support (74% very or fairly satisfied) and timing / pattern of course (68% very or fairly satisfied).

Many learners felt that their course would have a positive effect on their career and their current employing organisations (or had already done so) and that their course had had a positive effect on the level of service provided to patients (especially in increasing capacity and the range of services which are offered in a GP practice).

Employers were, on the whole positive about their experiences of Learn and Earn courses and recognised benefits such as the ability to ‘grow their own’ primary healthcare workforce, i.e. to increase skills and capacity in their existing staff and to gain specific skills which the employer needed and which could be tailored to the needs of the employing organisation and to provide a better service for patients.

If you would like to commission an evaluation please contact Mike O’ Driscoll (m.odriscoll@mdx.ac.uk)

For more details of the evaluation findings please contact Community Matters (training@communitymatters.co.uk)

Report title:
Learn and Earn Project – Evaluation Report
O’Driscoll, M., Traynor, M. and Knibb, W. (2020). Middlesex University, Centre for Critical Research in Nursing and Midwifery.



Michael Traynor receives award

Last week I was awarded a fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing. It is extremely flattering and fun to be involved with the opening of the RCN’s 2019 Congress in Liverpool with their new president Anne Marie Rafferty.

The RCN is facing some challenges in the wake of what was widely seen as a failure to manage and communicate the government’s pay offer last year. The then General Secretary resigned and some active RCN members campaigned for the organisation’s Council also to stand down. The campaign turned out to be controversial with some suggestions of a left wing ‘infiltration’ of the RCN. So we have the appearance of a confrontation between an ‘old guard’ and ‘modernisers’.

One of the long-standing disappointments is that nursing (in England at least – the other countries of the UK may be different) rarely seems to be able to draw on its huge strength in numbers and wield political power in the field of health service policy or regarding the working conditions of nurses. I would hope for changes that move the RCN in the direction of being able to do this.

Helen Allan Secures Visiting Scholarship at De Montfort University

Helen Allan has secured a Visiting Scholarship to the Centre for Reproduction Research at De Montfort University from January to March 2019. Helen will be working on papers with Professor Nicky Hudson and her team which arise from the Early Parenthood after IVF study. Helen’s collaborators on this study have been Professor Olga van den Akker (MU), Professor Lorraine Culley (DMU), Dr Ginny Mounce (University of Oxford), Jo Killingley, Lindsay Ahmed and Therese Bourne (MU) and Ruth Hudson (Surrey & Borders NHS Trust).

Limbus conference on Toxic Organisations

Limbus is an organisation, based in Totnes, Devon which has organised a series of fascinating conferences on aspects of psychotherapy and its interface with organisations like the UK NHS. A week or two ago I spoke at their event on Toxic organisations and Neoliberalism. It was one of the most enjoyable and stimulating conferences I have been to in very many years, held in the beautiful Dartington Hall.

My topic was the promotion of resilience among nurses in the NHS and the video of the talk is below.

The NHS@70 Event

Back in July, with our long-time collaborator Pam Smith, we threw an NHS@70 event, complete with a choir and some key figures in nursing invited to look back over not only their own careers but the progress of nursing over those seventy years of work in the UK’s National Health Service. To mark the event we are gathering all the talks together along with many photographs taken on the day by our colleague Justin McDermot and publishing a book with one of the self-publishing companies. Check back for some further details.

Here is former General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, Christine Hancock, looking at some significant events in her own career.

christine-hancock

Interview with Pam Smith on YouTube

Last week Helen Allan and I interviewed Pam Smith, one of the founding members of the Radical Nurses Group and writer about emotional labour (really useful link there) in nursing. I’ve published the first part of the interview on YouTube, where Pam talks about her reasons to go in to nursing and about the groundbreaking course at the University of Manchester. You can find it here: https://youtu.be/ZlLbhPTYdBA

There will be two further episodes so please check back on our Youtube Channel

Sharing our research on student volunteering, critical pedagogy and compassion in nurse education

Research by Professors Sue Dyson and Olga van den Akker, Dr Liang Liu  and Mike O’Driscoll uniquely draws together three important concepts for the first time:  namely student volunteering, critical thinking skills for nurses, and caring and compassionate nursing practice and shows how these relate to critical pedagogy in the nurse education.  The programme of research has so far resulted in three conference papers, one peer-reviewed publication, a book and international collaboration with Dr Kwadwo Korsah  at the University of Ghana School of Nursing in Accra and the establishment of academic networks in Canada, Australia, and Latvia.

Conference papers Mike O’Driscoll, a researcher in CCRNM, presented findings of research into the role that volunteering  can play in developing critical pedagogy within nurse education at the AITNER Sociology conference in Athens in May  and at the National Council of Voluntary Organisations Research Conference in Nottingham, in September. Also in September, Professor Sue Dyson presented findings from the research at the World Congress on Nursing & Nurse Education Conference in Rome.

The presentations were very well received and led to many interesting discussions around volunteering in health professional education and how critical pedagogy relates to compassionate care.

The presentation titled The extent, variability and attitudes towards volunteering among nursing students: Implications for pedagogy in nurse education’  presented by Mike O’Driscoll at the AITNER conference in Athens can be downloaded here AITNER 2017 PRESENTATION.

Peer-reviewed publication Findings from this research have also been published in the peer reviewed journal Nurse Education in Practice.

Book The research is the subject of the book by Professor Sue Dyson to be published on October 7th. 2017: Critical Pedagogy in Nursing: Transformational Approaches to Nurse Education in a Globalized World (Palgrave Macmillan).

The programme of research continues and for further information please contact Professor Sue Dyson (s.dyson@derby.ac.uk).

 

Professor Helen Allan and colleagues – Action Research on Guyanese women living with diabetes

Professor Helen Allan, Professor Tina Koch and PhD student Dr Ann Mitchell have published their research ‘Guyanese expatriate women ask: Is it a touch of sugar?’ examining the experiences of expatriate Guyanese women living with diabetes.

The article was published in Action Research Journal which seeks to disseminate research findings to practitioners and health service users through social media.  Read online using link below (time limited access) or download the pdf here is it a touch of sugar

Would you like to start a chronic illness participatory action research group?  For further information contact:

 ann.mitchell@open.ac.uk

h.allan@mdx.ac.uk

tinakoch24@gmail.com

 

Is it a Touch of Sugar?