Case study: Sanctuary Care Ltd
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Healthcare and industry placements in a residential care setting
For Sanctuary Care Ltd, offering healthcare industry placements has been a logical extension of its established programmes which provide work experience and volunteering opportunities for over 1,000 people each year. Sanctuary recognises its duty to up-skill the future healthcare workforce and promote careers in the industry.
Brambles Care Home in Redditch, Worcestershire, is at the forefront of Sanctuary Care’s drive to develop high-quality industry placements for students studying healthcare courses. It provides residential, nursing and specialist dementia care.
Brambles’ activity coordinator leads the work, providing a wide range of opportunities for students from local colleges, third sector and independent training providers. To develop knowledge and skills to promote health and wellbeing for older adults.
Sanctuary Care has developed a standard student profile form to gather background information, including current skills and areas for development, so that each placement can be tailored to the students’ needs, course and interests. The activity coordinator also carries out a short informal interview with each student to find out more and explain what will be expected of them during the placement.
“There are so many vacancies in the healthcare sector and care settings are not always seen as the most attractive to work in. So, we’re coming to the realisation that we also need to change the perception of the public, and the best way to do that is to attract younger people into the sector. We find that by offering industry placements to young people, that’s where your workforce are going to come from.”
Yunus Giwa Senior Work Programmes Officer Sanctuary Care Ltd
Using a project-based model to develop students' skills
To ensure that each placement at Brambles provides a relevant and rewarding learning experience for the student and makes a genuine contribution to the running of the home, a project-based approach is used.
Students are tasked with projects such as the planning and delivery of an activity session aimed at supporting residents’ health and wellbeing. Many initially find this a daunting prospect, but with appropriate support and preparation they rise to the challenge and take great strides in gaining skills and confidence.
Projects develop students’ understanding of how to support adults with a range of health needs, and strengthen inter-personal communication skills, which are critical for careers in healthcare.
“It’s not just good for the actual students themselves but it’s also beneficial for the residents. You see a change in the residents themselves. Seeing a different face, a young face as well. It’s amazing.”
Fiona Morsy, Activity Coordinator, Brambles Care Home
Sanctuary Care’s tried and tested policies and procedures for volunteer and work experience induction and training have been extended to cover industry placement students. Each student completes a full induction which includes online courses in GDPR and safeguarding, as well as Dementia Friends training to promote awareness and improve communication with residents affected by dementia.
Return on investment
Industry placements add value for Sanctuary Care by:
- promoting healthcare roles in care settings and driving up recruitment and retention to address staffing shortage. Several students have progressed to employment with Sanctuary Care at the end of their placements
- improving the quality of care. The longer duration of placements provides continuity and consistency for residents and builds links to the local community
- improving residents’ wellbeing by building new relationships and sharing their skills and experiences with young people
- creating additional capacity. The total value of hours given by volunteers and placements for 2019/20 equates to over £940,000