This paper describes an initiative in North East London that aimed to facilitate access to training for care-home staff by using a mobile skills-centre in the form of an adapted bus.
It has proved difficult to take a strategic approach to quality assurance in care homes and the first comprehensive national training strategy for the sector was not published until 2000. Staff value and benefit from training, but organizing the provision of education and training may be problematic, given resource constraints and staffing levels that make it difficult to release staff to go off-site.
Collaboration between the School of Community and Health Sciences, City University London; My Home Life, an initiative led by Help the Aged in collaboration with the National Care Forum and City University London; local care homes; local primary care trusts (PCTs); and the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at City University London and Queen Mary University of London. The project involved facilitation, training in the mobile skills-centre and evaluation through questionnaires.
The project was successful at a number of different levels: providing training to care-home staff; fostering collaborative relationships between care homes and PCTs; providing a forum to enable a wider educational discussion of care-home needs; and stimulating the planning of future education programmes for care-home staff and of the provision in care homes of student nurse placements.
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