Cornish academy will have 'huge impact' on health and social care staffing, says Derek Thomas

West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas says that a new academy which will train Cornish people to work in health and social care services will have a “huge impact” on workforce shortages in the sector.

The Cornwall Health and Social Care Academy was launched at the Health & Wellbeing Innovation Centre at Treliske on Friday.

A Memorandum of Understanding outlining the objectives of the Academy include “facilitating high quality care for all and improving patient outcomes in the Cornwall area both now and in the future through the use of good quality training, opportunities and retention”.

Mr Thomas said that the future success of NHS Kernow and social care services in the county was dependent on a well-valued and happy workforce.

“This academy has the potential to have a huge impact on the current situation where we are seeing growing numbers of staff shortages in vital physical and mental health services and difficulties in recruiting new people,” said Mr Thomas. 

“It can be a powerful tool towards addressing the workforce challenge by attracting local people and training them here in Cornwall knowing that they are much more likely to enjoy a career in our health and care system.

“I am very glad Cornwall’s NHS providers have decided that they needed to take greater control of the agenda to train new health professionals and believe that the academy will also prove to be a great way to support local people into professional roles, moving their social mobility in a positive direction.

“It is particularly important that the academy will work to improve the status, earning potential and career prospects of young people entering into the care profession.”

As well as providing training for entrants into the health and care sector, the academy will work with local colleges to provide clear pathways for individuals to receive placements for their BTEC course and offer them opportunities in the health and care sector, offering the opportunity to work as bank staff and gain a foothold on the first rung of the employment ladder as a Health Care Assistant.

It will also take advantage of the significant pot of NHS money committed through the Apprenticeship Levy to provide training for approved apprenticeship courses.