A group of young apprentices at Musgrove Park Hospital have been given the official seal of approval for the care they give to patients.
The award follows an intense period of study and clinical placement the apprentices undertook at the hospital while working towards gaining the nationally recognised care certificate.
The care certificate was developed jointly by the national health training bodies Skills for Care, Health Education England and Skills for Health. It sets out the standards that health and social care workers should stick to in their day-to-day work.
It was introduced as a mandatory standard in 2015 for apprentices to ensure they gain the same skills, knowledge and behaviours to provide compassionate, safe and high quality care and support to patients.
Sallyann King, a midwifery matron at Musgrove Park Hospital, said: “We were proud to welcome seven apprentices to work at our maternity unit and it was pleasing to see how much of a positive impact they had on the way we care for mums.
“We wanted to make sure the apprentices gained a blend of skills so we rotated them through our antenatal clinic, labour ward, postnatal ward and out in the community.
“They came up with a number of really good improvements that we have now adopted at the unit. For example, one apprentice developed a treasure hunt across the hospital that helped to mobilise mums after they had given birth. Another recognised that some women bring their children into the unit with them and they can often become bored. To help with this she created a series of fun activities to keep them occupied.”
Rachael Putt, sister on Montacute ward, which cares for patients who have had colorectal and urology surgery, supported two apprentices on her ward.
“We have been delighted with our apprentices,” she said.
“I originally had reservations about taking on apprentices in the difficult ward environment, but would not hesitate to do so again.
“In a few words I would describe them as extremely hard working, mature and caring young people with a clear understanding of what excellent care means.
“They have adapted with competence to a difficult working environment and I feel that the patients are safe, supported and valued under their care.”
Helen Satchell, theatre practice educator, said: "Our apprentices are integral members of our theatre teams and it was such a positive experience last year so we have taken on a second cohort this year. Many of last year’s apprentices going on to university to study either nursing or operating department practice."