RCN signs pledge to support social care nurses’ skills development

The RCN and the Caring Homes Group have signed a “learning agreement” which will see the college provide ongoing training development for permanent and agency staff.

“Sometimes it has been hard for our members in the social care sector to take full advantage of the services the RCN offer”

Irene Murray

The national agreement, which is the second of its kind for the RCN, also outlines the crucial role RCN learning representatives play in promoting learning and development.

It will support the creation of new learning representative roles in Caring Homes’ services across the UK with 14 RCN learning reps recruited to date.

Caring Homes Group, which was established in 1994 by registered nurse Helena Jeffery and her son Paul, is made up of nursing home provider Caring Homes and Consensus, which provides support and accommodation for people with learning disabilities and additional complex needs.

The group has more than 5,700 employees including 630 nurses and nursing support workers.

RCN national officer Irene Murray said the college was keen to support nurses working in social care but a lack of representatives in the sector had made this more challenging.

“Sometimes it has been hard for our members in the social care sector to take full advantage of the services the RCN offers because we didn’t have enough representatives in place – services such as career development or well-being support,” she said.

“This agreement gives us the chance to really support our members in the social care sector and make sure we have a base of representatives in place,” she added.

Learning reps had access to a “wealth of resources to help support training and development in their workplace” which in turn had a positive impact on patient care, she added.

Nurse Jandryle Trondillo, who is currently undertaking training to become an RCN learning rep, hoped it would enhance the support she could provide to colleagues.

“I’m passionate about learning and am already involved in supporting my colleagues with training. This is a great opportunity to build on that and give better support by incorporating what the RCN has to offer,” she said.

Meanwhile, Caring Homes’ training lead and RCN learning rep Jagdeep Bahra said the role would help him support nurses recruited from abroad.

“I work across five regions supporting colleagues from all levels of the business with training so becoming an RCN learning rep seemed like a natural progression,” he said.

“A learning agreement helps signpost people to the right training”

Tracey Humphreys

“We have significant numbers of nursing staff joining us from overseas so this will help me to better support them with their nursing journey.”

Tracey Humphreys, clinical training manager at Caring Homes Group, said she’d been inspired to become a learning rep after seeing them in action in her last job.

“I’ve been a rep for over a year and the training’s very good and has really benefited my own development,” she said.

“A learning agreement helps signpost people to the right training and helps colleagues with any further training and development,” she added.

Liz Willis, director of Learning and organisational development at Caring Homes Group, said the agreement was part of the company’s commitment to quality.

“It’s a stamp of quality not just for our nurses and healthcare assistants, but also for the families and individuals we care for and support, because it shows we provide a high-quality service, and invest in the standard of our skilled colleagues,” she said.

The RCN has one other national learning agreement with nursing agency Interserve Healthcare.