A new apprenticeship scheme aimed at helping aspiring NHS radiology staff has already benefitted the workforce at a health trust in Teesside.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with Teesside University, who are running a course to allow existing staff members to gain hands-on practical experience and complete a qualification while they continue to work at the organisation.
Once staff complete the apprenticeship, they will have the experience to develop into registered radiography practitioners.
Assistant practitioner Hayley Minton is one of 10 of the first cohort of apprentices and the first at the Trust to take part in the new qualification – which will see her complete the qualification in October.
Career progression and opportunities
Hayley said: “I came to the radiography department in 2009 and worked as a radiographic support worker for 9 years. There was this natural growth of interest in developing my career, skills and knowledge and the Trust helped support my progression.
“I’d come off the back of completing a two-year foundation qualification, which allowed me to drop into the BSc (Hons) diagnostic radiography as a top-up year, rather than the usual three-year course.
She added: “I’ve just handed in my final written assignment and I’m just waiting for my final assessment in October to hopefully officially complete the course and gain my degree – I’ll then be able to apply for my formal registration to become a registered diagnostic radiographer.
“It’s been a really practical way for me to gain knowledge and experience and my colleagues have been amazing in supporting me during my studies – it’s certainly been challenging juggling a full time job alongside the qualification, but I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”
Supporting staff to excellence
Radiology operations manager Gail Griffiths said: “The development of community diagnostic centres (CDC) and supporting the department’s recovery after the pandemic means that we need to futureproof and expand our existing workforce.
“Being able to ‘grow our own’ workforce and invest in existing staff members is such an important aspect of this recovery and giving colleagues an opportunity to advance their careers and watch them succeed is such an immense privilege.”
The Trust has successfully supported a second radiology staff member on to the apprenticeship and is hoping to strengthen its workforce through training a further six additional colleagues next year.
Gail added: “Hayley has demonstrated how successful the apprenticeship route can be. She’s worked extremely hard to achieve her goals and is such a valued member of the radiographic team.
“It’s been brilliant having her be our first colleague to undergo the course and great to see just how far she has come since joining the team. Well done!”