Bluebird Care Lincoln, Bluebird Care North East Lincolnshire and West Lindsey and Bluebird Care South Lincolnshire are the first home care providers in England to offer a training programme that allows their care assistants to become nursing associates.
The Lincolnshire-based businesses have partnered up with the University of Lincoln and Lincolnshire Care Association to introduce the Nursing Associate Programme for their care assistants who wish to gain further qualifications without having to give up work or go to university. This opportunity came about after the University of Lincoln, which has been running the Nursing Associates Programme for two years, approached Bluebird Care Lincoln asking if they would like to take part.
Rachel Lear, 44, began the Nursing Associate Programme in January this year and will finish her training as a qualified Nursing Associate. Rachel has worked at Bluebird Care Lincoln, Bluebird Care North East Lincolnshire and West Lindsey and Bluebird Care South Lincolnshire for almost two years and has progressed during her time with the business. She started as a care assistant and, within just six months, had been promoted to a care assistant mentor. Before her career in care, Rachel was a teacher and had been in the teaching profession for 15 years, after which she decided to have a career change and go into domiciliary care. She said “I am thoroughly enjoying the nursing associate course. Every day is different, it is a good mixture of delivering care to our customers and training both at university and with our nurse manager. There is lots to learn however everyone at Bluebird Care are so supportive, giving me a wide range of experiences, which I approach enthusiastically.”
Debbie Ferguson, nursing manager at Bluebird Care Lincolnshire is supporting Rachel Lear through her training, saying: “I am really pleased to see another member of the team training to be able to do nursing. My job is extremely enjoyable and I see great importance in being able to provide a nursing service to people in the comfort of their own homes. Rachel is a wonderful student and I think it is great that Bluebird Care Lincoln, Bluebird Care North East Lincolnshire and West Lindsey and Bluebird Care South Lincolnshire and the University are giving her and other students this opportunity to gain further skills and make a real difference to people’s lives.”
Victoria Webber, director of Bluebird Care in Lincolnshire, called the training a “fulfilling opportunity” and said “I’m really pleased we have been able to give someone the opportunity to keep learning while also working. Rachel has taken to the role so well and Debbie is doing a wonderful job of overseeing her and guiding her through. Thank you also, to the University for making this possible, it has always been my ambition to give my staff as many career development opportunities as possible and this Programme is a great way a broadening the already strong options we have at all the Bluebird Care franchises across Lincoln.”