Health CommitteeWritten evidence from HCA private hospital group (ETWP 104)

The purpose of this submission is to outline HCA’s ongoing training programmes and our commitment to the training of its entire staff, and in so doing to contribute to the Government’s plans for the long-term education, training and workforce placement of healthcare staff.

Key areas covered in this submission to include:

EDUCATION AND TRAINING: HCA spends on average £1.2 million a year on the education and training of staff. Many non clinical roles are performed by nurses. HCA is committed to the training of all staff not just clinical staff.

HCA also recognises that we need to focus on shortage areas in nursing and have implemented a highly successful Operating Department Practice development programme and we are currently developing for September 2012 a Paediatric Intensive Care course in conjunction with Birmingham University.

60 % of our nursing staff was trained outside the UK and 40% NHS trained in the UK. Although we do not monitor radiology staff training, we estimate the same 60/40 split as with Nursing.

HCA is committed to maintaining links with many of the London and surrounding based universities. We currently link with The University of West London for a number of our academic programmes as well as London South Bank and Kings College. Our speciality areas also have links with other professional bodies. Apart from the Nursery and Midwifery Council (NMC), many of our staff are members of other professional bodies. For example, a number of oncology nurses are members of the UK Oncology Nursing Society (UKONS) and have become trainers in UKONS Telephone Triage.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING AND THE ACQUISITION OF NEW AND MORE SOPHISTICATED MEDICAL EQUIPMENT: HCA continues to be innovative in purchasing new equipment for our facilities and this involves specialist training on new equipment. HCA spends upgrades its medical equipment at great cost and regularly acquires new and more sophisticated medical equipment.

NON NHS AND NHS COOPERATION ON EDUCATION AND TRAINING: A practical link would be working in greater partnership with the NHS in regards to training opportunities. A flexible two way system of sharing knowledge and innovations would be beneficial to both parties, as well as a structured exchange of placements.

Introduction

1.1 HCA is a private healthcare provider for the treatment of serious and complex medical conditions. We achieve some of the highest patient outcome and survival rates in the UK and our hospitals are virtually MRSA free.

1.2 HCA has six world class hospitals and four outpatient medical centres in London. Our hospitals are, The Harley Street Clinic, The Lister Hospital, London Bridge Hospital, The Portland Hospital, The Princess Grace Hospital and The Wellington Hospital. We also run the highly specialised private cancer treatment unit at University College Hospital (Harley Street at UCH) in London.

1.3 HCA has internationally recognised Centres of Excellence for cardiac care, neurology (brain and spine injuries), women’s health, IVF and fertility. We also run the largest and most advanced private cancer network in London. HCA buys the very latest equipment, drugs and therapies to ensure that our patients always have access to the best possible treatment that is available anywhere.

1.4 HCA International employs 3,794 staff—1,504 of them are nursing staff (many non clinical roles are also performed by nurses); 158 Radiographers; and 599 other clinical professionals.

Learning and Development

2.1 Each nurse undertakes a 37.5 hour week training course upon commencement of their employment encompassing Corporate and Clinical Induction. Every nurse would then have a two week supernumery period of which a large part is dedicated to undertaking ward based training and supervision.

2.2 Each nurse must then attend a 7.5 hour day at the local hospital induction. This local hospital induction must be compulsorily repeated each year.

2.3 Every nurse is also required to complete compulsory e-learning packages. These sessions take on average two to three hours to complete. Examples of these packages are: Safe Guarding Children Level 1 and 2, MUST Nutrition training, the Safer Use of Insulin, Radiation Protection training, and Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults.

2.4 A nurse can also access any of our in house clinical training via the local intranet These sessions take place over either a half or full day. Examples of courses on offer are: Cannulation, Venepuncture, ECG Basic and Advanced Study Day, and Palliative Care and Diabetes.

Education and Training

3.1 HCA spends on average £1.2 million a year on the education and training of staff.

3.2 HCA is committed to the continual development of nurses and has recognised that we want to attract, engage and retain our best talent within the organisation. To enable this, in 2011 we launched the highly successful HCA Sister and Charge Nurse Development Programme. This development programme focused on developing nurses to become the managers/leaders of the future. This innovative programme was nominated for the Laing and Buisson award and has spurred HCA in developing a number of other development programmes in 2012. These are: the Grade four-five Nursing Development Programme, Management Development Programme and the Leadership Development Programme.

3.3 Each HCA nurse also completes a yearly Performance Plan, with the focus on developing their skills and competencies related to their role. This time also allows for managers to have a career discussion and for the nurse to ask for any training opportunities. The nurse has access to our HCA Study Leave agreement, located on the local intranet and is able to apply for both some internal and external courses.

3.4 HCA also recognises that we need to focus on shortage areas in nursing and have implemented a highly successful Operating Department Practice development programme and we are currently developing for September 2012 A Paediatric Intensive Care course in conjunction with Birmingham University.

3.5 60% of our nursing staff was trained outside the UK and 40% were NHS trained in the UK. Although we do not monitor radiology staff training, we estimate the same 60/40 split as with Nursing.

3.6 As with our Nursing staff, all radiographers undertake the mandatory training in post. The only difference is HCA offers Intermediate Life Support training for radiographers that also focuses on anaphylaxis training and competencies.

3.7 HCA is committed to maintaining links with many of the London and surrounding based universities. We currently link with The University of West London for a number of our academic programmes as well as London South Bank and Kings College. The speciality areas also have links with other professional bodies. Apart from the Nursery and Midwifery Council (NMC), many of our staff are members of other professional bodies. For example, a number of oncology nurses are members of the UK Oncology Nursing Society (UKONS) and have become trainers in UKONS Telephone Triage.

Education and Training

3.8 There is a cost implication associated with recruiting and training new staff. However, HCA is committed to ensuring that all staff receive the training they need to fulfil their roles. In addition, we seek to increase the retention of employees by offering our own training programmes and career development opportunities.

3.9 HCA looks at predicted patient volumes and growth in order to forecast staffing requirements for the coming year.

3.10 HCA offers a number of opportunities for staff to access our many varied educational and training sessions. The focus is on standardising clinical skills and ensuring best practice is utilised in every clinical setting. HCA does this by sharing ideas within the HCA Group and by working in developing a corporate strategy towards training.

3.11 HCA is a private organisation and our patients expect to be treated by consultants. However, we are in the process of developing programmes to support the development of Resident Medical Officers (RMOs) in partnership with NHS Trusts.

Education and Training and the Acquiring of new and more Sophisticated Medical Equipment

4.1 HCA continues to be innovative in purchasing new equipment for our facilities, and thus undertakes specialist training on new equipment. HCA regularly acquires new and more sophisticated medical equipment.

Non NHS and NHS Cooperation on Education and Training

5.1 It is important to HCA that it is continues to be abreast of the continuing professional development of our treating consultants and relevant changes to practice within a clinical setting. Our organisation makes funding available to develop state of the art practice in accordance with national standards and research that is carried out nationally as well as at the HCA research centre.

5.2 A practical link would be working in greater partnership with the NHS in regards to training opportunities. A flexible two way system of sharing knowledge and innovations would be beneficial to both parties, as well as a structured exchange of placements.

December 2011

Prepared 22nd May 2012