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First Higher Apprenticeship graduates celebrate regional first

13 Nov 2018 15:59:04
TAPs graduation 2018

Higher apprentices at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust are among the first group to complete a new pilot training programme in a regional first for healthcare employers.

Sixty-eight Trainee Assistant Practitioners (TAPs) at eight healthcare providers in South Yorkshire have achieved the Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Diploma at Level 5 and graduated this week.

They include three colleagues from The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust; Marie Pye, Melissa McTague and Cheryl Naylor. Marie and Melissa attended a graduation ceremony on 12 November at Sheffield’s Holiday Inn Royal Victoria Hotel to celebrate their achievements.

The higher apprentices, also known as TAPs, have studied for 18 months, spending four days a week in the workplace and one day a week at The Sheffield College.

Mary Dougan, Workforce Development Practitioner at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Trainee Assistant Practitioners have worked so hard over the last 18 months. Their determination and commitment has been admirable, so it is great to see them at their graduation today. I wish them the very best in their future careers”.

The higher education course has been introduced mainly by NHS employers to help them better meet the changing health needs of patients and develop a skilled workforce to support healthcare professionals.

Barnsley General Hospital, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, BMI Hospitals, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Trust, St Luke’s Hospice Sheffield and The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust are all involved in the scheme.

Angela Foulkes, Chief Executive and Principal of The Sheffield College, added: “I am really pleased for the TAP graduates. They have worked incredibly hard for their achievements and are a credit to both the College and their employers.”

She added: “I’m delighted that this programme is developing a healthcare workforce for the future and enabling these higher apprenticeship graduates to go further in their careers by training them in the skills their employers need.”

The TAPs support registered nurses, theatre staff and healthcare scientists to deliver patient care by taking on specific tasks and caseloads in specialist wards and clinical departments. They assess, plan, implement and evaluate care for patients.

Their role bridges the skills gap between an experienced health care assistant and a registered nurse, and is a stepping stone to nurse training resulting in a recognised qualification and confirming the employers’ commitment to investing in their staff.

The qualification has enabled the TAPs to progress with their careers in the workplace with some going onto a full or part-time nursing or paramedic practice degrees at university.