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Press release: Jersey Hospice Care receives Fiscal Stimulus Funding to recruit and train five new Health Care Assistants from outside of the healthcare sector

The team at Jersey Hospice Care were delighted to hear that Ministers had signed off on awarding Hospice £75,000 from the Government of Jersey Fiscal Stimulus Fund to train five new Health Care Assistants (HCAs) who have had no previous experience in healthcare. Support for this initiative not only provides the opportunity for individuals from other employment sectors to undertake a career change but also fulfils the charity’s staffing needs to deliver outstanding patient care. 

This welcome support will enable Hospice to recruit up to five new HCAs with no previous healthcare experience who wish to retrain and build their career in the health sector. The funds will cover the cost of the first six months of employment and workplace training – the first week is predominantly spent in the classroom covering the foundations of palliative and end of life care, then a further month in practice working alongside more experienced colleagues to learn the fundamentals of hands-on care.  

After this time, they are part of the workforce but remain supervised in practice by an allocated mentor and with support from the Practice Development Team. By the end of the six month period they will have undertaken all mandatory training and be working towards their formal care qualifications. 

Shortly after the Island began to experience the impact of COVID-19 in 2020, Hospice identified the need to recruit more HCAs to support the team on the In Patient Unit at Hospice. Recognising that the pandemic had made many Islanders redundant and that Hospice has an in-house Education Team, the decision was made to invite those without previous healthcare experience to apply for the roles with all training provided in the workplace.  

One of the new recruits in 2020 was Carly Sanguy, who had previously been working in a local restaurant as a pastry chef. She had always dreamed of going into healthcare, having cared for her parents and grandmother, but had always assumed she would need to study and go to college. Last May, she responded to an advertisement from Hospice which invited those from different industries to apply to become a Health Care Assistant with full training provided on the job. Carly joined the team in June 2020 and hasn’t looked back having just completed her Care Certificate this yearShe said, “Coming to Hospice was the best decision I have ever made and I am so glad to have been given this opportunity to realise my dreams. The team here are fantastic and I have loved learning from such supportive colleagues, particularly my Hospice mentor Derek – I couldn’t have done it without himI love my job and the patients – no two days are the same and every person I meet is so different. Having been so shy before I came here, being a HCA has completely changed me and I am so much more confident in myself.” 

Derek Ruth, a member of the Practice Development Team who supports new Health Care Assistants with their training

Head of Education and Learning at Jersey Hospice Care, Julie Luscombe, said: “We are delighted to be able to not only recruit a diverse workforce of Health Care Assistants but also to train them in house. Our Practice Development Team will support and supervise the new Health Care Assistants from induction onwards, working alongside them and role modelling good practice. Beyond this, we are proud to provide education at all levels; from foundation courses focusing on person centered care to accredited courses such as the Skills for Health Care Certificate and vocational qualifications – all of which will be available to our new recruits in the future as well as all health care professionals across the island. Having this education available ensures that our patients receive excellent care, and our new staff feel confident and competent in their roles. 

A key pillar in Jersey Hospice Care’s current business plan is to ensure that it has a resilient and supported team that is fit for the future, and to have the right people in the right roles, with the right skills to succeed. Following the success of recruiting Carly from the hospitality industry last year, and with the funding from the Fiscal Stimulus Fund to support in-house training, Hospice is now able to attract new employees to the healthcare sector, provide employment and support long-term job security, and continue to transform end of life care for the community.

For more information on the Health Care Assistant positions or the training available at Jersey Hospice Careplease visit www.jerseyhospicecare.com/education or email people@jerseyhospicecare.com.