North Lanarkshire Council, South Lanarkshire Council and NHS Lanarkshire have now joined forces to create a Lanarkshire-wide Care Academy.
The Academy will build on work already in place in North Lanarkshire, with a focus on further supporting the ambitions of existing staff andcreating new generations of health and care professionals.
From vibrant recruitment campaigns, exciting apprenticeships to developing the existing workforce, The Academy will take a proactive and innovative, local approach to addressing well-publicised national recruitment challenges. Its wide-ranging aspects will all be characterised by collaboration, coordination, and a strengthening of a well-established spirit of partnership.
Ross McGuffie, chief officer of Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire, has signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding, along with his South Lanarkshire counterpart, Soumen Sengupta.
“We are exceptionally proud of both the fantastic tradition of partnership working that’s been established – and our committed and compassionate staff who deliver through thick and thin,” said Mr McGuffie.
“We are very much set in the here, now and future and that’s why North Lanarkshire Council has developed a wide-ranging Workforce for the Future programme.
“As part of this, the Lanarkshire Care Academy will reduce duplication, streamline engagement with key partners, share learning and enable a more structured approach in the mutual interests of all of the partners and prospective staff.”
Soumen Sengupta, Chief Officer for South Lanarkshire, said: “This is a crucially important milestone in our collective journey and joined-up efforts to provide safe, effective health and care to the people of Lanarkshire.
“Of course that unified goal cannot be realised without a sustainable and vibrant workforce.
“There’s not a day that goes by when we don’t hear about the life-changing difference our staff and partners make. In turn, we also see the profound sense of satisfaction our staff and partners get from their roles and being part of the team in Lanarkshire.
“The Lanarkshire Care Academy has been set up to ensure that our wider team endures and, indeed, goes from strength-to-strength.”
A Care Academy is already in place for North Lanarkshire and the recent agreement will extend and enhance arrangements on a Lanarkshire-wide basis.
The clear goal is to provide a mechanism to further co-ordinate the activity of the two Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnerships, working across North and South Lanarkshire Councils and NHS Lanarkshire to increase the number of people entering the health and social care workforce.
The Academy will focus works on three key areas which are:
• Developing the Young Workforce
• Employability and Inclusion
• Recruitment, Attraction and Retention.
A range of existing initiatives will be encompassed into The Academy, including Modern Apprenticeships, Professional Apprentices, links with schools, further education and employability support.
Peter McCrossan, NHS Lanarkshire Director for Allied Health Professions, who has been integral to developing the Lanarkshire-wide approach, said: “The prevailing challenges in the employment market are well known.
“The Care Academy is part of our ongoing commitment to address these – and weatherproof for the future by helping us bring in the compassionate and skilled staff of tomorrow.
“In short, this is a fantastic development that will not only open many doors to careers in health and social care – but build on the excellence that’s already been established by our existing staff.”