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National Skills Academy for Health Excellence Centres

The National Skills Academy for Health is developing a network of Excellence Centres across England to bring together employers from the NHS, independent and voluntary sectors to coordinate and implement high quality skills programmes for support workers.

National Skills Academy for Health Excellence Centres

Although there are more than half a million people working in vital support roles across the nation's healthcare workforce, the availability of high quality training for healthcare support workers has often been inconsistent, underfunded and difficult to access.

Now, with significant investment from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the Academy’s network of Excellence Centres are revolutionising the way in which local employers can access training and skills support. Each Excellence Centre:

  • Provides a local hub for employers and learners to access high quality relevant training
  • Plans and runs training events for support workers in all organisations within the region
  • Manages new e-learning development and facilitate e-learning for local support workers
  • Helps training providers ensure their development programmes are viable
  • Recognises and promotes high quality training provision through the Skills for Health Quality Mark scheme
  • Provides an accessible and relevant on-line resource through which employers, managers and individuals can stay up-to-date with matters affecting education and skills

Excellence Centre locations and contacts

The locations of the first nine National Skills Academy for Health Excellence Centres are listed below, along with each centre's lead employer and main contact. If you are a healthcare employer or training provider and would like further information about joining an Excellence Centre network, please visit the relevant Excellence Centre homepage or contact the local Excellence Centre Coordinator.

How the Excellence Centre model works

Each Excellence Centre acts as a regional hub to develop strong collaborations between training providers and healthcare employers from the public, independent and voluntary sectors.

Together, the organisations in each Excellence Centre network design and deliver new learning resources for healthcare support staff, share training expertise and make best use of skills development facilities.

Each Excellence Centre has a Regional Advisory Group, made up of employers and other stakeholders, which, in turn, work with the National Advisory Group. The Groups collaborate to identify local and national training needs and design development solutions to improve the competencies of healthcare support workers.

Smaller healthcare organisations are a particular focus of engagement, with the development process aiming to reach out to a broad range of employers including hospices, care homes, dentists, GP surgeries and pharmacies.

New e-learning development

In addition to the design and implementation of face-to-face and blended learning programmes, the Excellence Centre network are coordinating the development of 20 new national e-learning resources, including six new learning programmes centred on patient care. These will cover such areas as:

  • Skills for providing community care, for example dementia support, medicine management and recognising signs of abuse
  • Support for developing key behaviours and values critical to new entrants
  • Support for the development of study skills to facilitate the advancement of workers’ skills to level 3, 4 and 5
  • Further development of foundation skills, such as English, maths and IT, tailored to the needs of the sector
  • Support for the development of clinical skills which may lead on to other advanced training and qualifications