The NHS in Cumbria is offering people the opportunity to build their careers and make a difference to the local community.
The Home Care Practitioner Service at North Cumbria Integrated Care Trust (NCIC) is expanding and members of the team are encouraging people to consider a career change. Ledeen Percival has been a home care practitioner since August and works at Brampton hospital.
She said: “I would urge anyone thinking of becoming a home care practitioner (HCP) to go for it. You will not look back and it’s a great team!”
Being an HCP involves looking after patients who do not need to be in hospital in their own homes to provide short term support, aiming to maximise independence and increase confidence and quality of life.
It may also involve supporting patients with longer-term care needs and those who are receiving end of life care and wish to remain in their own homes. Applications are open to people who do not have a care qualification but are willing to undertake a Care Certificate as part of the role.
Ledeen added: “I gained an NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care in my old care job and then I went to work for Tesco. I enjoy that every day is different. I came thinking it would just be home care but I was wrong, far from it, we have so many different things to do and we see patients of different ages.
“The key aim of the service is to promote independence and help people to get back on their feet in their own homes.”
Switch from nuclear
Matthew Blood joined the NHS in March after working in the nuclear industry and he was previously a science teacher. After being made redundant, he decided to become a carer and will soon take up a position with the NHS as an emergency ambulance crew member, demonstrating the career opportunities available.
Matthew said: “I enjoy being an HCP because I get to interact with people all day and I feel really supported by the nurses, occupational therapists and office staff.
“A typical day would be driving to morning calls where I’ll help with patients’ morning routines. This could involve giving someone a full body wash and assisting them to change in bed and helping them eat their breakfast or simply doing a welfare check to see if they’re okay. I’ll generally then write up my notes and see if any ad hoc things need to be done (such as picking up a prescription or delivering a piece of equipment).
“Then I’m back out on lunch calls before I head home for my own lunch. I’ll come out again for tea time calls – usually heating something up or if need be making a meal from scratch. Then back to the hospital again to write up notes before I do bed calls – helping patients get into their bedclothes and sometimes helping them into bed as well. It is a really varied role.”
Stephen Atkinson, HCP Development Lead at NCIC, said: “The expansion of the Home Care Practitioner Service is the most exciting project I have been involved with since I started working NHS.
“It’s a great opportunity to enhance patient flow through our system, offer a career within the NHS and most importantly ensuring the patients in our care don’t have to wait in hospital unnecessarily when they should be at home. Patients and families can be safe in the knowledge that our service will provide a safe transfer from hospital to home.
“We will be able to support individuals to regain their independence, be there as a bridge until longer-term care starts and enable individuals the choice to return home when they are at end of life.
“The role of the home care practitioner is both fulfilling and rewarding. We are a great team, we offer great development opportunities and I recommend working for NCIC trust for people wanting a career in health and social care.”
Travel between patients’ homes and sites is an essential part of the job so the post holders must be able to drive. The ability to work over seven days is a requirement of the post. The hours of work will be on a rota covering a shift pattern between the hours of 8am and 10pm.
To apply now, visit https://www.ncic.nhs.uk/careers/current-vacancies#!/job/v3613777