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Innovative healthcare course launched to support the NHS in Scotland

July 12, 2011 3:07 PM

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The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and Scotland’s Colleges have joined forces to create an innovative healthcare course inspired by the staffing needs of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s (NHSGGC) new South Glasgow Hospitals Campus, due to open in early 2015. 

Lead by NHSGGC, the new Higher National Certificate/Diploma (HNC/D) Care and Administrative Practice is the first of its kind.  This unique programme was specifically developed to ensure the growing group of NHS healthcare support workers gains the vital mix of skills and knowledge which will make them invaluable to the NHS.  It incorporates national standards set by NHS Education Scotland and is designed to have safety, quality and standards of patient care at its heart.  The qualification offers core units followed by different optional routes that allow people to move flexibly between roles, while ensuring that they have all the standards required to deliver the best of care.
All students will benefit from the mandatory work placements which, for the first group of students, will be provided by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.  This experience will allow learners to bring together knowledge and practical skills whilst working as part of the healthcare team.  Learners will enjoy a broad range of subjects including: health and wellbeing, communications, information technology, understanding behaviour, hospital planning, care practice, mental health, physiology and healthcare promotion.

On successful completion of the course, students can apply to join years two or three of a degree relevant to the NHS, such as nursing, health studies or a wide range of business and administration degrees, or apply for jobs in the health sector.

This bespoke qualification, validated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) in May 2011, will initially be offered by Cardonald, Anniesland, James Watt, and John Wheatley Colleges from August 2011.  As a nationally recognised qualification, the new HNC/D course will be available at other colleges throughout Scotland from 2012-13, in support of other NHS Boards around the country.

Laurence Howells, Senior Director of Skills, Research and Knowledge Exchange at SFC commented: “This new employer-driven course will provide high quality training and skills for healthcare support workers that both complement and support the work of nurses, the allied health professions, and medical staff. 

“I am delighted that we have been able to work closely with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the colleges to create this course, which will help provide the skills the NHS needs to improve healthcare.” 

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “High standards of education and training for all staff plays an essential part in achieving our ambition of a world class healthcare system.
“In the current challenging financial climate, we are supporting the NHS to prioritise the training that will provide staff able to deliver clinically effective and safe person-centred care.
“Quality healthcare is at the heart of everything we do and we cannot achieve this without a motivated, committed and appropriately skilled workforce.”

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Chief Executive Robert Calderwood said:  “I am pleased that by working closely with Scottish Funding Council as well as a number of excellent colleges that we have managed to produce this unique teaching programme for future healthcare support workers.

“The way we deliver healthcare is ever evolving and it can only be a good thing that we have staff even better prepared for the new roles developing in the modern NHS.

“The new Higher National Certificate or Diploma developed will have a good mix of practical experience through the mandatory work placements we will provide and will give healthcare support workers a good grounding for their future roles in the NHS.”

Susan Walsh, Lead Principal Scotland's Colleges, Health, Social Care and Early Years, said:  “This new HNC/D brings a nationally quality assured qualification developed in partnership with NHSGGC,  the largest Health Board in Scotland, Scotland's Colleges, and Glasgow Caledonian University.  It will help support quality standards in patient care and offer flexible routes into higher education.  It is a unique and cutting edge project.”

For further information please contact Elizabeth Horsburgh, Communications Officer, Tel: 0131 313 6560, email: [email protected]
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Press Office, Tel: 0141 201 4429,
email: [email protected]

Notes to editors:
1 The South Glasgow Hospitals Campus will include a new adult and children’s hospitals as well as new laboratories.  Further details available at
2 SFC has provided £900,000 per academic year from 2008 to 2011 to the Greater Glasgow articulation partnership, which provided funding for a number of health related projects including the project to support the progression from the HNC/D healthcare course to a degree course.
3 The Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council (SFC) is responsible for allocating public funds to colleges and universities in support of Scottish Government priorities.  SFC was established by the Scottish Parliament in 2005 and is a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government.
4 The Council’s funding contributes towards the costs of learning and teaching, skills development, research, innovation and other costs such as staff, buildings and equipment in Scotland’s 16 universities and four higher education institutions (collectively know as the university sector) and 43 colleges.  The Council also provides resources to enable colleges to offer bursaries to students on
non-advanced courses.
5 The Council’s mission is to invest in the development of a coherent college and university system which, through enhanced learning, research and knowledge exchange, leads to improved economic, educational, social, civic, and cultural outcomes for the people of Scotland.
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Last Updated: 06 February 2015