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Healthcare Works programme case studies

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 08:24

case study 060917‘I was really supported, and it helped me to show off my skills’

Humayra Tasnim knew she wanted to explore a new career path, but wasn’t sure which would make the best use of her knowledge and experience. Her previous work history was varied-youth TV presenter, charity fundraiser, SATs tutor-but there was one common thread: she wanted to make a difference to the lives of others.

‘I’m quite a community-based person, so I like to work with-or for-people as much as possible,’ she said.

So when Humayra’s work agency advisor contacted her about the Healthcare Works initiative, she decided to take part. Healthcare Works is a National Skills Academy for Health pilot programme that helps to increase the awareness of healthcare careers and the employability of local people through partnership work, apprenticeships, training and placements. Barts Health NHS Trust, host of the Academy’s City and East London Excellence Centre, is delivering the programme, which is now helping to fill vacancies and develop a workforce that represents the local communities in East London.

During the programme-in addition to learning about the NHS, its values and the work it carries out-Humayra participated in a series of exercises that developed her employability skills.

‘I found the mock interviews and self-confidence classes most useful. I was really supported, and it helped me to show off my skills and have a bit of confidence in what I’m trying to do-to show that I can do the job,’ she said. ‘After that two-week experience, I really wanted to go into the NHS, because I saw it as something I could benefit people with.’

The effort Humayra put into implementing what she learned at Healthcare Works paid off: she was accepted onto a work trial in the Cancer Services department at Whipps Cross University Hospital after her first interview. Her trial was a success, and she’s just finished the third week of her Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship. The department is somewhere she’d like to work in even after her apprenticeship comes to an end.

‘I definitely want to continue working for the NHS. One thing I keep hearing from my colleagues, as well as my managers, is that I’m quite fast at what I’m doing, and-for a department that has a high number of patients coming in regularly-that’s probably where I want to base myself, because I feel like I’m more useful there.

‘The best part is the support I’m receiving from my colleagues. They really help me in trying to achieve my best.’

‘I just wish I could say thank you’

Wendy Rooney had worked as a care worker for the elderly since she was 18, but recently suffered a physical health problem which meant she was no longer allowed to do the job she enjoyed. Finding work in other sectors, however, proved problematic.

‘Qualifications are good, but employers are mostly looking for previous experience,’ she said. ‘I found it hard to get into different jobs.’

After a year of looking for employment, Wendy was connected to the Healthcare Works programme through her local JobCentre in Hackney. Healthcare Works is a National Skills Academy for Health initiative that helps people secure careers through apprenticeships, training and placements. This pilot programme is currently being implemented by Barts Health NHS Trust, host of the Academy’s City and East London Excellence Centre, and rolled out to communities across the region.

Wendy said she learned a lot about Barts Health-and the NHS as a whole-during the Programme’s two-week induction session, such as which hospitals comprise the Trust and what each of them specialise in. All of the application support she received after the session really helped too, she said-she would be alerted to different apprenticeships, and Healthcare Works staff would assist her in making an application, as well as getting in touch to ask how she was doing, how the application process was progressing and just ‘keeping a good check on everything’.

Wendy had always had a passion for medicine, so when she was notified of an L2 Apprenticeship in Health (Pharmacy Services) vacancy at Barts Health, she applied for it with the help of staff from the programme and was successful.

After passing a four-week trial, she started her NVQ at the beginning of July. Her colleagues at Barts Health have helped make the transition easier.

‘All of them are really helpful, really bubbly, and they made me feel like I was one of them. It was really nice.’

The best part of her role, she said, is developing skills and knowledge in a new area. In the future, she wants to work her way up the bands to become a pharmacist.

‘I love learning about what the different medications do. It’s just really interesting to me.’

Taking part in the Healthcare Works programme has brought about unexpected benefits as well.

‘It teaches you a lot, and they’re really helpful in getting you an apprenticeship, but you also meet some really nice people,’ she said. ‘I made some friends from the programme who are now working in the same hospital as I am.

‘I wish I could just say thank you to Healthcare Works for helping me out so much.’