David Anthony: Learning and development – defining individual career paths

St Andrew’s are committed to ensuring all its staff are supported in their individual career paths. David Anthony discusses the measures put in place to ensure that talent is successful within the organisation.

The employment markets across all our operating locations have become ever more challenging and more competitive in recent years. Recognised ongoing national shortages in the supply of nurses, doctors and most clinical and allied healthcare professions are the key drivers behind this limited supply, and any national initiatives to address these shortages will only have an affect over the longer term. With many nursing and healthcare professionals leaving the profession due to retirement or dissatisfaction in the sector, attracting and retaining high quality staff is central to organisational success, and in the case of St Andrew’s and other healthcare providers, also central to the effective care of some of society’s most vulnerable people.

At St Andrew’s Healthcare, we are incredibly proud of our people and the role they play in our innovative, personalised, world-class care. Because we value our talented people so highly, we’ve worked hard to ensure St Andrew’s is an exceptional place to follow a career; whether in a clinical role working directly with our patients, or in a non-clinical role supporting our frontline staff.

St Andrew’s has a culture of supporting individuals in their careers and is committed to ensuring staff members have the skills needed to deliver excellent patient care. To achieve this we have clearly defined the skills needed for each job role, and detailed the learning that is available to help staff to develop. To guide our people towards the next step in their career journey, we share information on job roles within the charity, so staff can clearly see what skills are required to progress.

We have spent time working with our managers and staff to develop dedicated professional career pathways, which enable employees to move through their chosen profession without needing to leave the Charity. There are currently 15 pathways at St Andrew’s, covering disciplines including dietetics, psychiatry, occupational therapy, human resources and administration.

The first step in using the pathways at St Andrew’s is to identify your personal current level of practice. From here you can explore the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected for practitioners at that particular level. This will help you identify your learning and development needs which you can then focus on and work with your line manager to agree an appropriate development plan. The career pathway is developed as a cumulative process; before you move to the next level, you are expected to achieve criteria at lower levels as well as those at your current level.

In our nursing career pathway, staff can progress from Healthcare Assistant (HCA) to Staff Nurse through our ‘Aspire’ programme, where we support them to complete their nurse training before they move onto more senior positions. Our pathway also offers opportunities for people to develop their career clinically as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner and beyond, or to take a managerial route and become a Clinical Nurse Leader, a Nurse Manager or a Modern Matron.

Currently within St Andrew’s we have senior leaders that include a former HCA who has developed to a Director; they are now responsible for running a significant part of our business.

While we are committed to ensuring all staff has access to the career pathways, we understand that people often do not want to follow a linear career path, or their desired route may change over time. At St Andrew’s there are plenty of opportunities to understand different roles and different career options. We actively encourage staff to move across pathways and departments, as internal moves help us to retain good people, and further enable our culture of sharing knowledge, ideas and perspectives. We have someone in our IT department that moved from our catering team, and nurses who have moved to our learning and development team; at St Andrew’s, as long as you are passionate about making a difference to the lives of our patients, there are unlimited opportunities.”

St Andrew’s currently has 15 career pathways, covering: nursing, dietetics, education, psychiatry, psychology, social work, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, pharmacy, occupational therapy, Chaplaincy, estates and facilities, administration, human resources, IT and business change.

To find out more about career opportunities at St Andrew’s, visit our careers webpage. Everyone who works at St Andrew’s is guided by the charity’s CARE values of Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence; for more information visit the culture page of our website.

 

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