Celebration for Advanced Assistant Health Practitioner Apprentices

Date: 01 June 2016

Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was proud to recognise the success of their very first cohort of Assistant Health Practitioner Apprentices in partnership with Bridgwater College recently at a celebration event held at Bridgwater College’s McMillan Theatre.

The evening was the culmination of two years of extremely hard work by the seven apprentices; Maria Bamford, Tracey Britton, Kay Burge, Georgina Callicott, Karen Coffin, Paula Elphick and Jo Morley.  

The benefits of Assistant Practitioners had been in consideration at Somerset Partnership since as far back as 2004.  Assistant Practitioners are workers who can deliver health and social care with a level of skills and knowledge beyond that of the traditional healthcare assistant and they are able to undertake work that previously has been done by registered staff, freeing them up for more clinical patient contact.

The health sector is constantly evolving and the introduction of such roles is necessary to meet the healthcare needs of our communities.

Stephen Ladyman, Chairman of Somerset Partnership, said, “Bridgwater College is an exemplar of the sort of partner Somerset Partnership needs, high achieving, flexible and responsive.  We are extremely proud to be associated with the College and we hope that our work with them has been a small contributor to their success.  It is a pleasure to celebrate the achievements of a cohort that has risen to the challenge, achieved an important qualification and who will have an important contribution to make to the work of the NHS in years to come.  On behalf of the Trust and the many people you will help, thank you and well done.”

Jess Henry, Head of Learning Development at Somerset Partnership, added, “We are very proud of the achievements of this first cohort of staff for their dedication and commitment to learning and developing in this new role.  Our District Nursing service has already seen the benefits to patients of the Assistant Practitioner role and we are hoping that many more services in the Trust will develop this role to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care and support. Our partnership with Bridgwater College has been a critical factor in this great success story. Well done to all those who have achieved this Foundation Degree level qualification through hard work and study.”

Liz Scott Walker, Curriculum Manager and Programme Lead at Bridgwater College, said, “It is amazing to see how the original seven higher apprentices have grown and developed over the two years.  We are delighted to be involved in this exciting initiative and are committed to investing in the professional development of the local workforce.”

If you would like more information about studying Health and Social Care at Bridgwater College please contact our Information and Guidance team on 01278 441234, or visit www.bridgwater.ac.uk.