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Hospital's nurses and healthcare assistants go to 'care camp'

Unique training course is an intensive induction for new nursing staff

The nurse who helped establish a course designed to integrate all newly recruited nurses and healthcare assistants at his trust hopes the idea might be adopted across the NHS.

The 'care camp' at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust is an intensive two-week clinical education course that aims to get all nursing staff working to the same standard across the organisation.

It was originally intended for recruits from overseas, but now caters for all new nursing staff and averages around 15-20 employees per monthly session.

Together, recruits are shown how to apply the hospital’s policies on everything from inserting cannulae to ensuring rigorous infection control.

Guest speakers cover topics such as caring for transgender patients, ensuring social care is in place before discharge, and diet and nutrition advice. Staff are invited to use devices that attempt to simulate the experience of individuals with conditions such as arthritis or sight loss.

Associate chief nurse for medicine and care camp co-founder Paul Kirton-Watson said 250 staff have completed the training since it began 12 months ago.

He said: ‘This all began when our senior infection prevention control nurse Viv Duncanson and I were thinking about ways to improve standards here. There wasn’t a specific problem, but we were finding many new recruits would come in and say "that’s not how I’ve been shown".

‘Now we have something in place that gets everyone on a level playing field, which can only enhance the patient experience.

‘It helps retain staff because they understand immediately what is expected of them here. It does cost a fair bit to run, but replacing staff costs even more, so the money is definitely well spent.

‘The feedback is always incredible and we would love to see other hospitals start something similar as the benefits are enormous.’

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