AN educational programme for healthcare assistants working in the town’s nursing homes has been developed – the first of its kind in the UK.

NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group has become the first CCG to develop an accredited education programme for healthcare assistants in residential homes.

The programme aims to give assistants skills to support care home residents, as well as to help further their careers.

Pam Williams, quality improvement manager for care homes at Warrington CCG, said: “It is testament to our commitment as an organisation to provide our care home staff with opportunities for continuous professional development, recognising that a confident and competent workforce ensures that the needs of patients and those closest to them are met well.

“Taking part in the course increases productivity and job satisfaction as it gives staff the opportunity to develop their skills, expertise and grow within their role.”

Assistants who have taken part in the programme, which is delivered in partnership with Edge Hill University and Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, have expressed ambitions to go on to work as paramedics as well as in mental health care and at Warrington Hospital.

Zoe Boyle, who worked at Heathercroft Care Home in Woolston, took part in the course and is planning to begin paramedic training in September.

She said: “I really enjoyed the programme – it gave me more confidence and practical skills that I took back to work in the care home.

“I’ve always wanted to be a paramedic but I never thought I could do it – I came out of school with the minimum GCSEs and went straight into healthcare.

“When I found out about the training programme I was really excited but a bit nervous, but when I arrived I found as an adult I learnt in a different way – I was yearning for learning.

“I really enjoyed the course and I am now looking forward to the new chapter in my life.”