New team members devoted to supporting North Lanarkshire’s District Nurse and Mental Health teams

Dec 11, 2023

North Lanarkshire has welcomed 17 new assistant practitioners dedicated to providing a further layer of support for the multi-disciplinary teams working in the community.

Joining the District Nurse and Community Mental Health teams, assistant practitioners are vital, highly valued members of the community health and care workforce.

To support rising demands for community services, the new roles have been developed to bridge the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses.

NHS Lanarkshire is the first health board in Scotland to put in place a pathway for assistant practitioners to go through the HND course and move directly into the third year of nurse training.

Ammy Reid, who has joined the Districted Nursing team, said: “I was working as a healthcare support worker and I felt this new role is perfect for my development.

“I’ll be combining the role with the academic work so I can become a registered nurse. I’m working with registered nurses to provide and monitor safe, person-centred care to patients in the community.

“This gives me another opportunity to combine my skills from my previous role with the learning from college and experience of my colleagues to deliver care and advise and promote good health and wellbeing.”

Sharon Simpson, health and social work manager, University Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire, said: “These are important new roles we’ve created to support our teams, while further developing the staff in these new jobs.

“We have recruited seven to our community mental health teams and 10 to the community nursing teams. They’ll play a valuable role in supporting established teams and picking up work delegated from the nursing staff.

“These new posts are very exciting for the workforce and the career development of our current healthcare support workers. They’re already highly trained, with some having worked in healthcare for 10 to 15 years, and they’re being further supported through coursework at the New College in Coatbridge.

“When the posts were advertised we were inundated with applications for both posts, showing a real appetite to join our teams. This shows the hunger of our staff to continue learning and delivering high quality services to the people of North Lanarkshire.”

Trudi Marshall, nurse director, University Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire, said: “This is a great opportunity for us to grow and develop our own nursing teams, but also to entice people into working in health and social care in North Lanarkshire.

“The opportunity to build on their existing skills as well as train towards becoming registered nurses is a positive development for them as well as us.

“I’m looking forward to watching their development and I’m confident they will have a very positive impact on the person-centred community care we deliver to the people of North Lanarkshire.”
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