Major social enterprise signs up to RCNi’s #1hour2empower campaign

Livewell Southwest guarantees protected CPD days for its nurses

1Hour2EmpowerOne of the UK’s largest social enterprise healthcare providers has backed our #1hour2empower campaign.

Nursing Standard and RCNi want employers to support their nurses by giving them protected time for continuing professional development (CPD).

This is vital for ensuring nurses can meet the minimum 35 hours of CPD over three years to complete the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s revalidation process.

Livewell Southwest, which provides health and social care services for people in Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon, has signed up to the campaign.

It employs 3,000 staff, including more than 800 nurses.

It has taken the step of guaranteeing its staff at least three days a year protected time – in addition to mandatory training – to work on their career development.

It also offers staff one-day workshops on the new revalidation process introduced by the NMC this month.

Livewell Southwest lead nurse and deputy director of professional practice, safety and quality Dawn Slater believes its scheme is unique in the UK.

She met the organisation’s board to propose staff be given protected time.

She said: ‘I explained it would allow [staff] to analyse their own training needs, complete their revalidation portfolios, and think really hard about what being a nurse means to them.’

A recent RCNi survey revealed that hundreds of nurses have to use their annual leave to keep up with training requirements and some admitted to taking sick leave so they could catch up.

Just under two thirds (65%) of the 2,909 respondents were concerned about being able to fulfil the required CPD hours for revalidation and 81% wanted protected time for CPD.

More than a third of respondents (34%) were doing less than 10 hours CPD or no CPD each year.

Ms Slater said the campaign is ‘so important’.

She added: ‘Anything that gets the message out to nurses is a good thing as too often it gets lost in the “busyness”.

‘We should never be too busy to improve ourselves.’

Ms Slater said Livewell’s scheme, which was introduced last year, guarantees three days as a minimum, but some nurses have been allowed up to 10 days depending on their CPD needs.

It has a training budget and staff can make bids to a specialist panel to get funding to go on courses.

Ms Slater said: ‘We ask staff to do a very difficult job and in return they deserve to feel safe, valued, supported and not be expected to train in their own time.’

For more information on the campaign click here and join the conversation on Twitter using #1hour2empower.

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