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New job role in NHS Wales to bring healthcare students into care homes

A new role has been created in Wales to maximise opportunities for healthcare students within Welsh care homes.

Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) has taken on Wales’ first ever Care Home Education Facilitators (CHEFs) who will focus on student placement experiences in care homes.

The three CHEFs will:

  • Support the education of care home staff to be able to provide great learning environments for healthcare students within care homes
  • Signpost practice learning opportunities to improve the quality of care in care homes
  • Support the development of new and experienced staff and those in wider practice education support roles
  • Contribute to collaborative working between care homes, Health Boards, HEIW and universities, and
  • Maximise the contribution that care homes make to the development of the future health professional workforce

The needs of patients in care homes can differ from those in hospital, and these experiences will enhance student’s skills and contribute to Welsh Government’s plan: A Healthier Wales.

Placement students will gain an insight into work in both health and social care settings. They will learn about the equality of patient care and gain a better understanding of the discharge process. The consistency of patient care will be enhanced because of this holistic approach to training.

Simon Cassidy – HEIW Head of Placement Experience and Improvement said: “The introduction of the first Regional Care Home Education Facilitators in Wales is a significant and exciting new venture. We look forward to key stakeholder collaborations with the ambition to develop further learning opportunities for nursing and wider healthcare students in the care home sector.”

Each CHEF will be liaising with 80 to 90 Welsh care homes.

The first part of what is an initial three-year Welsh Government funded plan of work will be scoping the possibilities and working with universities to gain an idea of how many students can go into this sector.

Care homes can often struggle to recruit staff so the hope is that these placements will also give healthcare students a glimpse into the career opportunities available in this area.