August 11 2017
It was a long, hard year of work and study but it paid off when Charlotte Barber, from Southampton NHS Treatment Centre, Grace Oliver, Lara Farndell, Charlotte Bentley and Katherine-Amy O'Keeffe, all from St Marys NHS Treatment Centre, and Jessica Wylde, for Royal South Hants Minor Injuries Unit in Southampton, received their diplomas from the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth in a graduation ceremony at the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth.
Assistant practitioners have a required level of knowledge and skills beyond that of the traditional healthcare assistants (HCAs). They can deliver elements of healthcare and undertake clinical work and the six work across the units to provide flexible coverage to support the needs of the local communities.
Charlotte Barber said: “There were various modules with assignments and an exam. There was a focus on increasing knowledge from HCA-level in areas such as safeguarding and infection control.
“I wanted to set a good example to my children. I am a mum of two and I wanted to prove to them that if you want to achieve something, then you can just get on and do it, as long as you put the hard work in!
“The camaraderie was wonderful and it was nice to study with a group of people who were like-minded and wanted to do something worthwhile. Our tutor at Fairways was amazing and it was good to study again after ten or so years. Being a bit older made for a different experience.”
Penny Daniels, Hospital Director for the centres, said: “I am very proud of the group. They have persevered with their studying while supporting colleagues at work, delivering first class care to patients and supporting their own families and loved ones.
“Now qualified as assistant practitioners, their skills will be further used in a variety of ways to improve our patients’ healthcare experience.”