Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust achieves two Pastoral Care Quality Awards

Date: 01/11/2023 | Category: General News

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has achieved two Pastoral Care Quality Awards from NHS England, recognising the support and commitment offered to both international nurses and midwives, and healthcare support workers (HCSWs).

HCSW giving a meal to a patient

A Health Care Support Worker assisting a patient at meal time

The Trust took part in the pilot NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award for Support Workers and achieved silver. The award is in recognition of the Trusts’ commitment to HCSWs and to retaining and supporting staff at every stage of recruitment and beyond.

HCSWs are offered one-to-one pastoral catch ups early on in their career with the Trust. If the HCSW wishes to progress in a registered profession, they are signposted to the Apprenticeships team. Each induction cohort has access to their peers and staff who are able to refer them to additional sources of support if required, including Peer Listeners, Mental Health First Aiders, or Freedom to Speak up Guardians.

Following an induction, HCSWs are provided with a development programme for their first year. The Trust supports individuals to complete their care certificate (if required), the Bedside Emergency Assessment course, enrol onto the Achieving Care Excellence (ACE) programme and attend a disabilities awareness day.

Anne Keteling, HCSW, said: “I feel very supported in the Trust, not just by my manager but also by my colleagues, doctors and education team.

“There have been a lot of development opportunities for me including different training, my functional skills and my nursing associate course.

“I love the work I do and take a lot of pleasure and joy in taking care of my patients, and having fun with my colleagues.”

A Day with the International Midwives workshop

Midwives at ‘A Day with the International Midwives’ workshop

The NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award for International Nurses and Midwives was awarded in recognition of the work being carried out to ensure international colleagues receive enhanced and tailored pastoral care as they start their NHS journey.

International nurses and midwives are looked after by dedicated Overseas Recruitment Coordinators. They help to guide new starters through each step, from pre-employment checks to working at the hospitals.

Overseas staff have a large support network and are given extensive training and guidance to help them settle in. This includes a welcome breakfast to meet other new arrivals, an appointment to register for a UK bank account and a tour of the local area.

Salomi Johnson, staff nurse, said: “Before my journey with the Trust began I was really worried, but from the interview to right now I am getting the best from the best people – they are completely supportive and growth oriented. The training for OSCE is really valuable for us.”

Liz Lees, Chief Nurse, added: “Both these awards are a testament to the fantastic staff who work tirelessly to ensure the newly appointed members of our nursing and midwifery workforce are made to feel supported and welcome when they join us. I am extremely proud of these awards.”