Maryport day hospital becomes a learning zone for all nursing staff

Maryport day hospital is now supporting nursing staff from across Cumbria who have learned new skills become fully competent in those skills.

Zoe Larmour, the Integrated Care Community (ICC) manager for Maryport and Cockermouth explained:

“Once nursing staff have undertaken and passed their clinical skills training they then must show they are proficient in those skills. This is done by delivering the care to patients under strict supervision. The process is called ‘competency sign off’ and staff who need that sign off can now ring the Maryport and Cockermouth ICC hub to arrange it.

“The co-ordinators can match the clinical skill assessment needed to the patients attending and arrange a convenient date and time for staff to come in, be assessed and get signed off.”

New Nursing and Midwifery Council Nursing Standards put the emphasis on a competent and confident workforce, with newly registered nurses required to have a comprehensive variety of clinical skills such as cannulation, venepuncture, catheterisation and IV therapy.

Zoe added: “By providing the Learning Zone at Maryport we can support our whole nursing workforce to increase their skill mix.

“The staff on the unit have worked hard to ensure they are all competent in the relevant skills and have signed up to mentor courses to aid them when signing other staff off.

“The ultimate benefit will be to patients as the more skills are available within community settings the less time patients will have to spend in the acute hospitals and can be treated in the right place at the right time by competent, confident staff.”

This is a first for the NHS in Cumbria and the hope is that it can be rolled out across all ICC hubs in the future.

Sue Harper is a Clinical Education and Workplace Learning Facilitator and she explained:

“Whilst facilitating clinical skills training it became apparent that staff were struggling with opportunities to gain competency sign off as they were having to travel distances to access a competency assessment. Staffing levels within teams also didn’t really allow for time away from the workplace”.

“We felt it might be feasible to set up some “competency hubs” or “learning zones” within the ICC’s and use Maryport Community Hospital as a pilot to provide a safe accessible training environment giving opportunity for our staff to learn and grow, creating a competent confident workforce.”

The team at Maryport Community Hospital Day Unit have demonstrated both ambition and collaboration and working with the Clinical Skills Team. The leadership team within the unit have demonstrated a real investment in developing not only their own staff but all staff and thus benefitting their patients.