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Care homes encouraged to apply for expanded ‘image boosting’ programme

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Care homes in England are being urged to apply for a ground-breaking programme aimed at boosting the image of the sector and tackling widespread shortages of nursing and care staff.

The Foundation of Nursing Studies is seeking five care homes to participation in the next phase of the Teaching Care Home programme, which launched in 2016 with the goal of developing homes as centres of best practice, learning and professional development.

“I am delighted that we are in a position to roll the programme out to other homes”

Martin Green

Led by Care England, which represents independent providers of adult social care, the Teaching Care Home scheme was initially funded by the Department of Health.

Care England has worked with the Foundation of Nursing Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University and the International Longevity Centre UK to develop the programme and went on to secure further funding from the Burdett Trust for Nursing to enable more care homes to take part.

So far 10 care homes have been involved in the programme with a further five to be recruited later this year.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said a key goal of the programme was to encourage more nurses to enter the care sector.

“The programme was set up with a view to recognise the issues of recruitment and retention of both registered nurses and carers,” he said.

“It attempts to raise the profile of long term social care as an exciting, rewarding and forward thinking career choice,” said Professor Green.

He added: “I am delighted that we are in a position to roll the programme out to other homes thus demonstrating that once again the sector is willing and able to change from within.”

This time round, the focus will be on “cross system partnership working” such as joint work between care homes and hospitals, universities and GP practices.

Applications will open in the autumn but settings keen to take part are being urged to register an interest now and start having conversations with existing or potential partners.

prof martin green index

prof martin green index

Martin Green

Successful applicants will need to demonstrate a commitment to person-centred care, as well as the learning and development of staff.

They must also identify an area of cross-sector partnership working that they would like to develop and show they have already begun to establish relationships with relevant partners.

Each care home will be expected to select a small team of three to four people – including the care home manager – to lead this work and take part in the programme, which includes six workshop days.

The programme is open to all care homes in England, which can contact the foundation now to ensure they receive an application pack as soon as the call for applications is announced. More information is available from its website.

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