Nineteen new nurse assistants celebrate their achievements

A programme which is helping to provide career progression for senior carers and alleviate some of the challenges associated with a national shortage of nurses is going from strength to strength.

Developed in partnership with the University of South Wales and Aneurin Bevan Health Board, using the NHS competency framework, Hafod’s 12 week Nursing Assistant programme provides senior carers with the opportunity to enhance and develop their clinical skills. This enables them to competently complete tasks previously only undertaken by nurses within Hafod’s care homes.

Since the programme launched in December 2017, 31 senior carers have become nursing assistants with a further 17 due to start training.

The nursing assistant’s benefit from an academic programme of lectures coupled with access to the simulation suite at the University of South Wales allowing them to practice their clinical skills in a state of the art environment.

Matthew Washington, Nursing Assistant at Ty Penrhos care home said:

“I’ve really enjoyed completing the programme and having the opportunity to study at University. This wasn’t something I had considered before and in addition to enhancing my knowledge and skills, I’ve learnt a lot about myself and feel much more confident in my decision making. The support from management has been fantastic and I’m looking forward to continuing to develop my career with Hafod.”

Margaret Harris, Regional Lead at Hafod, said: “By creating the nursing assistant role we are providing career progression for our care staff and increasing their skills and knowledge to enable them to support our nurses.

Enabling our nurses to concentrate fully on the clinical needs of our residents has helped to reduce the number of agency nurses we use at a time when nurse recruitment is a challenge across all sectors This helps us provide continuity of care for our residents as they receive care from staff they are familiar with and also provides financial efficiencies.

We are currently carrying out a full evaluation to assess the impact of the programme both in terms of improvements in the quality of care and the benefits for staff.”

Owena Simpson, Academic Subject Manager, University of South Wales (USW) said:

“Our partnership with Hafod is the first of this kind and it has been such a positive experience. Many of the students from Hafod may not have considered, or had the opportunity, to attend University and it’s been a real pleasure seeing them learn and develop. They’ve worked really hard and in addition to their personal achievements, it’s great to know that their new skills and knowledge will have a positive impact on those in their care.”

To find out more about a career with Hafod visit