Blackpool hospital’s delight as first home-grown apprentices join heart team

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Blackpool’s hospital has welcomed the first recruits from a scheme aimed at addressing a shortage of staff.

 

The hospital has found it hard to find staff for certain areas in recent years and so launched its own apprenticeship training scheme.

Natasha Bentley and Nicole Clews, both from Blackpool, have secured First-Class BSc (Hons) in Healthcare Science Cardiac Physiological (Apprenticeship) Degrees after a three year apprenticeship at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The pair will now begin their careers as qualified cardiac physiologists at Lancashire Cardiac Centre with the trust.

Natasha Bentley and Nicole Clews have joined the Vic’s team after completing First-Class BSc (Hons) in Healthcare Science Cardiac Physiological (Apprenticeship) Degrees after a three year apprenticeship at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Natasha Bentley and Nicole Clews have joined the Vic’s team after completing First-Class BSc (Hons) in Healthcare Science Cardiac Physiological (Apprenticeship) Degrees after a three year apprenticeship at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Angelic Goode, Cardiac Investigation Manager at the Trust, is delighted to see Natasha and Nicole progress to a role within a specialism which is traditionally hard to recruit into and one where previously candidates would have had to pay for their own studies with no guarantee of a job, and very little on-the-job experience of the role.

Angelic said: “Blackpool is geographically remote, we are not a city and we can’t attract some candidates because of our location.

“Healthcare Science workforce is small in terms of employees in the NHS and Cardiac Physiologists profession is more specialised with fewer in the workforce” said Angelic.

“We have problems with recruiting our profession into the workforce as students self-fund their degree, so they spent three years attending university with only weeks in a hospital setting. Many hadn’t actually experienced what the role entails, so they qualify and then try and find a job without the relevant experience.

“Once they come into the service, they then need to complete a preceptorship programme and some people really aren’t suited.”

The trust currently has a further eight candidates studying.

Nicole said: “It makes me proud to work at my local hospital in Blackpool, especially at the Lancashire Cardiac Centre. It is known all around the north west as being the best and it is a great place to work.

“The course was challenging at times with a lot of travelling into Manchester, but it was definitely worth it. You get your hands on experience and you know what it is that you are learning, rather than just the theory you get to see it in action as well.”

Angelic added: “The long-term benefits will be that if we can grow our own, they stay loyal to the department, and become our workforce of the future. We really want to attract Lancashire lasses and lads to come through this competitive training programme and become part of our fantastic team.”