Transforming lives together
“There are opportunities for further development via training and progression, and even professional qualifications, some which are financially supported.”
Our workforce is made up of people from a wide range of backgrounds, who are all dedicated to transforming lives together.
She joined St Andrew’s Healthcare in the 1990s when she was only 18. At the time, Lisa was trained as a nursery nurse, but had an interest in mental health and learning disabilities.
It was that interest that led to her applying for a Healthcare Assistant (HCA) role; starting her journey at St Andrew’s Healthcare…
What has been your experience since joining St Andrew’s more than 20 years ago?
I’ve seen lots of changes over the years, mostly in how we provide care to our patients.
There has been some changes of structure to nursing teams and the way departments and wards are built, making them more patient-centred, and there has also been an expansion of the facilities and events available to enhance the wellbeing and quality of life of the people in our care.
In your time here, what training and development have you received?
I have been required to complete mandatory training annually to ensure I’m competent to work in a secure area, and care and safeguard our patients’ needs. In addition, I have completed training in many specialist areas such as child abuse, mental disorders, PREVENT, CAMHS and safeguarding.
Currently I’m studying the Certificate in Mental Health through St Andrew’s in conjunction with the University of Northampton, which is a precursor to completing a degree in nursing in either Learning Disability or Mental Health.
As a healthcare assistant I started at the bottom and have worked my way up! You can work through the levels and gain a pay increase annually due to your performance being reviewed.
If you’re motivated and interested, there are lots of areas you can gain knowledge and experience in, not just care related but health and safety, vocational skills, community forums and the roles of other professionals, such as Social Work and Occupational Therapy.
Have you got any favourite moments?
When a person in our care is discharged or moves on to another service, it’s always an emotive experience, especially if you have built a good relationship with that person.
Days out to theme parks, barge holidays, butterfly farms have been highlights – providing experiences that some of the people in our care haven’t had the opportunity to access before.
Why should people become a Healthcare Assistant and join St Andrew’s Healthcare?
The best thing about being a HCA is watching people in crisis progress through recovery and learn new skills to manage themselves and their mental health, and have a better quality of life.
You have that feeling of making a difference, and the people in our care tell you that you have helped them change their life.
I think if you’re interested in this type of work you should come and see for yourself! There are a lot of misconceptions about mental health inpatient services and new employees are usually surprised at the reality of it.