Launch of skills scheme

SUPPORT staff across NHS Tayside have the chance to develop their skills with a new project launched last week.

Extending to all non-clinical services including portering, domestic services and catering, the ‘Career Pathways for Support Services Staff’ scheme aims to introduce a skills map and support the development of a career pathway for support staff.

The skills map provides helps to identify, discuss and develop skills for different roles and a group of 19 employees has already signed up to be involved in the project. NHS Tayside’s Centre for Organisational Effectiveness (TCOE) has recently been awarded funding from NHS Education for Scotland (NES) to support the project.

NES carried out a study into the learning and development needs of support services staff and the findings identified a number of challenges for the NHS. These include the limited availability of accredited learning programmes, a perception that the support services workforce is not necessarily interested in career progression and limited analysis of and planning for support services in future workforce plans.

Sandy Watson, the health authority’s chairman, welcomed the launch of the scheme which he said has been met with enthusiasm by NHS Tayside’s employees. He said: “I am delighted that this skills exercise is taking place, because patient care is about the commitment from staff right across the health service, from clinicians and non-clinicians alike.“It is good to see the enthusiasm demonstrated by all of the support services staff involved in this programme.”

Pat Millar, head of knowledge and skills, added that the scheme demonstrates NHS Tayside’s commitment to continuing development.