We take a look at apprenticeship standards in the healthcare industry and ask is this the way to prevent further staff shortages in the long term?

The Commons health and social care select committee has produced a report recently that says large number of unfilled NHS job vacancies is posing a serious risk to patient safety. The report suggests that England is now short of 12,000 hospital doctors and more than 50,000 nurses and midwives. It calls the situation the worst workforce crisis in NHS history.

The government said the workforce is growing and NHS England is drawing up long-term plans to recruit more staff. Apprenticeships could offer a great solution to long term staff shortages with opportunities across the Liverpool City Region. Currently many of the nursing staff in the NHS are being recruited from abroad. However apprenticeship standards across a suite of healthcare professions could provide an opportunity to train and grow a sustainable UK workforce across the healthcare industry.

A Registered Nurse Registered nurses are a key part of the multidisciplinary teams that meet the integrated health and care needs of patients and service users. They working in hospitals, homes, the community, social care or public health. In order to respond to the impact and demands of professional nursing practice, they are emotionally intelligent and resilient individuals, able to manage their own personal health and wellbeing, knowing when and how to access support.

Midwifes are lead co-ordinators of care as well as the first point of contact for a woman, her baby and family. Midwives act as an advocate for the mother, working in partnership with her and giving the necessary support, care and advice during and after pregnancy.

A District Nurse works with adults of all ages and communities ensuring they get the right care, at the right time, every time. They manage a caseload of complex patients and families/carers, either with long-term conditions over a protracted period or those with acute short episodes of care, by leading a clinical team who often work in isolation without immediate and direct access to medical advice. They influence and lead change management initiatives within the service, for example, new ways of working, new models of care.

Two new apprenticeship standards have been created. The first is a Nursing Associate that bridges the gap between health and care assistants and registered nurses. Nursing associates provide care for people who have mental, physical, cognitive and behavioural care needs. This allows registered nurses to focus on more complex clinical duties. Nursing associate is a stand-alone role with a progression route into graduate level nursing.

The most recent apprenticeship standard is a training route to become a Doctor  The apprenticeship standard was approved on 19th July but anticipating the first of the apprenticeships to start in September 2023..

If you would like further information on apprenticeships and how to apply for them, talk to the Apprenticeship Support by Be More Team. The team is funded by the European Social Fund & LCR Strategic Investment Fund and provides impartial information and advice on apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region.