Better Care, Healthier Lives: The Charity Helps Fund Staff Development

20 October 2023
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By order of our organisational commitment to help St George’s Trust deliver better care and healthier lives, the Charity has provided funds to a number of departments so that staff can undertake courses and attend conferences.

The better-trained and more knowledgeable the staff, the higher the standard of care they can provide, ultimately leading to healthier lives for patients in their care.

Not only does funding training help to upskill staff at St George’s Trust, but it can have other positive benefits to the Trust and their patients, in some cases freeing up the time of clinicians and possibly reducing waiting times.

Recently we highlighted that the Charity had provided funds which allowed a CNS to attend a Nipple Tattooing Course, which had helped to increase theatre capacity and reduce patient waiting times, you can read more about that here.

Above is a perfect example of how funding training courses not only upskills a current member of staff but has reduced waiting times for patients requiring nipple tattooing as part of their treatment. Furthermore, as clinicians are no longer relied on to perform the procedure this will free up their time to see other patients, which may help to reduce waiting times for other procedures and treatments.

Over the past few months, the Charity has fully funded or helped to fund the following:

Vestibular Rehabilitation Competency Based Course

Vestibular rehabilitation is a specialised form of physical therapy that focuses on the vestibular system, which controls balance and spatial orientation. This therapy is designed to help individuals with inner ear disorders, such as vertigo or labyrinthitis, as well as those who experience balance problems due to various conditions.

Cardiac Arrhythmias: interpretation and management

We provided funds for Joao Pedro Mendes, a Practise Educator in the Emergency Department (ED), to attend Level 7 Training in interpretation and management for Cardiac Arrhythmias.

He said “By working in ED, especially in triage, I am the first healthcare to look at patients' condition and by performing an ECG and being able to interpret I can identify those at risk of deteriorating.

“As a practice educator I am able to teach others in the department.”

Cardiac arrhythmias are a group of conditions that involve abnormal electrical activity in the heart, leading to irregular heart rhythms. The heart normally beats in a regular, coordinated pattern, which is essential for pumping blood effectively throughout the body. In an arrhythmia, the heart may beat too fast, too slow, or in an irregular pattern.

European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel

The Charity is also keen for staff to increase their knowledge through attending conferences and talks, we provided funding for Sofia Torres, a Tissue Viability Clinical Nurse Specialist, to attend the recent European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel.

She said: “I gained knowledge on assessing pressure ulcers in diverse skin tones that is a current problem in the NHS leading to late diagnosis in patients with dark skin tones leading to more severe pressure ulcers.

“I Improved my knowledge about the latest evidence-based practice, new pressure-relieving products in the market and quality improvement projects that other specialists implemented.

“I will be able to update the training that I will deliver to staff, and this will ultimately improve patient care.”

We also provided funds for a member of staff to attend a Vestibular Rehabilitation Competency Based Course, the member of staff said: “I am already implementing some of the key learning outcomes from the course and I am hoping to expand and implement more of these in the next 6-18 months' time.”

Positive Feedback from Staff

We asked staff who completed courses, which were partly or fully funded by the Charity to provide feedback. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from respondents.

·         100% reported improved knowledge and understanding of the topics covered.

·         100% are already frequently applying the knowledge gained from the training / conference / symposium provision in their work.

·         100% reported that the training / conference / symposium has enhanced the care that they can provide to patients.

·         84.6% reported that the training / conference / symposium led to their enhanced satisfaction in their role.

·         69.2% reported that the training / conference / symposium helped them better deal with all the conflicting demands on their time.

·         84.6 % reported that the training / conference / symposium helped them to do their job more effectively.

Stephanie Fisher, Grants Impact Evaluation Manager, said: “Receiving positive feedback from staff who attended courses and conferences is a testament to the value of investing in their professional development and, ultimately, in the quality of care provided.

It affirms that our commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge is making a real difference, not just within the organisation but, more importantly, in the lives of the patients served by the Trust.

It reinforces our belief that empowering our workforce through education and training is a vital step towards achieving our mission of 'Better Care, Healthier Lives.'"

The Charity has also committed to provide funding for a Lead Advance Arrhythmia Specialist Nurse in the Cardiology Department to attend a Safe Sedation Course. And we have also committed to providing funds for two Neuro Clinical Nurses Specialists to attend a Paediatric Neurosurgery Masterclass.

Regular giving helps the Charity to provide consistent funding for St George’s Staff to attend conferences, talks, and undergo training. You can find out more about making a monthly donation here.

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