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Apprenticeships support Royal Marsden to recruit and deliver workforce strategy
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust is a world-leading cancer centre, dedicated to cancer diagnosis, treatment, research and education. Over 2,500 cancer specialists including consultants, clinicians, nurses and healthcare professionals work collectively to ensure that patients receive the highest level of care.
In 2018 the Trust launched its Five-Year Strategic Plan outlining an ambitious Workforce Strategy in line with the National Cancer Workforce Agenda. Education and training was crucial for achieving this strategy and the Apprenticeship Levy presented an excellent opportunity to invest in new and existing staﬀ across clinical and non-clinical teams.
Following a competitive procurement process, The Royal Marsden selected specialist NHS Apprenticeship training provider, Skills Training UK, to deliver tailored Apprenticeship programmes for its workforce. The programme focused on two key areas, to support the challenge of new recruitment in new administrative roles and to further develop the management team with higher-level Apprenticeships.
The Trust now has over 70 Apprentices enrolled on programmes with Skills Training UK, covering business administration, continuous quality improvement, customer service, leadership and management.
Skills Training UK Trainer Assessors visit monthly to deliver 1-2-1 support to Apprentices and to run team sessions and workshops. The training provides staﬀ with the skills and knowledge to be practically applied within their workplace. Assessors are also regularly available over e-mail and phone.
Royal Marsden was recently rated ‘Outstanding’ by CQC, speciﬁcally mentioning how the Trust’s well- led teams and culture has been used to improve the delivery of high-quality person-centred care.
Nina Singh, Director of Workforce, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
“As an organisation that has been rated outstanding at CQC level, we believe that our staﬀ are at the heart of driving excellence. Therefore education and training, and in particular Apprenticeships, are a key component to delivering this excellence. Skills Training UK has been the perfect partner to support us along this journey.”
Using an Apprenticeship as a route into employment, Skills Training UK’s specialist recruitment service shortlisted high-calibre Business Administration candidates to ﬁll within diﬀerent areas at the Royal Marsden, including radiotherapy, pharmacy and research departments.
The recruited business administration apprentices have already made an impact within the workplace and are keen to progress within their role.
Marisa Tozzi, Pharmacy Systems Manager, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
“Skills Training UK were able to come up with a shortlist of candidates who were highly-employable and exactly what we were looking for. Many of these candidates’ details were then shared with other departments to aid recruitment elsewhere in the Trust.”
Daniel Lake, Pharmacy Assistant, Business Administration Level 3 Apprentice
“The Apprenticeship has enabled me to get stuck into more projects, areas and tasks than somebody in my position normally would, meaning that my skills are more varied and I am a more valuable asset to the team. The trainer assessors have also been very helpful and are always there if I have a question.”
Arti Haddadi, Radiotherapy Aide, Business Administration Level 3 Apprentice
“The Business Administration qualiﬁcation has given me a brand new skill-set to take into any role with me. Developing conﬂict resolution skills through this course has made me much more conﬁdent in the way that I talk to patients and manage their enquiries.”
Advanced Business Administration Apprenticeships
Skills Training UK has also supported the Trust to create two bespoke qualiﬁcations which are relevant to clinical members of the team - Business Administration with the addition of a Royal Marsden Level 2 Award in Cancer Terminology or CMI Level 3 in First Line Management.
Helen Morgan, Clinical Trial Administrator, Business Administration Level 3 with Cancer Terminology
“The addition of the Cancer Terminology certiﬁcate was of particular interest to me because the business administration skills are tailored towards my work as a Clinical Trial Administrator.”
Reinforcing Management Skills
The Trust’s Apprenticeship approach has focused on the development of Senior Staﬀ Members with higher-level Management programmes, helping them to understand best practice and theory for managing projects, teams and wider departments.
Gemma Lees, Therapeutic Radiographer, Operations Manager Level 5 Apprentice
“I’ve accrued 15 years of experience from working within an NHS setting. The management course will allow me to put these skills into a more formal setting and understand the theory behind why we do things the way we do, to help me further progress within my role.”
Salma Abadi, Cancer Information Analyst, Associate Project Manager Level 4 Apprentice, RM Partners
“My role as an analyst hasn’t typically included aspects of project management, but the new skill-set has allowed me to work in conjunction with the project management team at the trust and will help me identify new applications for the data I am analysing on a day-to-day basis.”
Kulpna Daya, Deputy Governance Lead & Education & Development Technician
“What’s been great about working with Skills Training UK is that whilst our prime concern is always patient care, they have been able to think out of the box and provide expertise from an external point of view, so we can come up with the best possible training solutions for our staﬀ.”
Sarah Armstrong, Professional Development Lead, Radiotherapy Department
“The Radiotherapy department has had many beneﬁts from recruiting Apprentices into our Radiotherapy aide group. The apprentices have gained administrative skills very quickly and are more capable and conﬁdent in their work processes”
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