Finding the time to continually train and upskill staff is one of the biggest challenges faced by UK care homes. Staff are already feeling the weight of heavy workloads thanks to the ever-increasing demand for residential care, so trying to free up time in an already busy day to train or upskill staff can become a nightmare for care home managers.

However, a proposal has been put forward to create five new teaching care homes strategically located throughout the UK where staff can learn on the job thanks to a professional team of care home trainers and assessors.

Care England is leading the search for five established care premises to become teaching care homes as part of its partnership with the Foundation of Nursing Studies. These homes will demonstrate an ongoing commitment to person-centred care and ways of working, which will be experienced by all who live, visit and work in the home.

The chosen care homes will become centres for learning, practice development and research, actively engaging with staff, students, residents and the community and have strong working relationships with academic and education providers and are a resource for other care homes.

As part of the mission to create these teaching care homes, there will also be a cross-partnership between universities, GP practices and training providers to ensure the best levels of care and ongoing commitment to staff training.

The benefits for teaching care homes are clear, with staff having the ability to access further training and learn new skills on the job without having to spend time away from the home on training courses or residentials.

It would also be of great benefit for care home residents and their loved ones knowing that the best quality care and training is provided in-house. For employees, the prospect of in-house training is also an attractive proposition as many care home employees struggle to further develop their skills and careers due to time constraints. Teaching care homes would remove this barrier and allow them to continually learn on the job without the need for at home study time or spend time away from their families on residential training courses.

Five care homes based in Liverpool, Solihull, Nottingham and Northampton have already been transformed into teaching care homes with great success, and applications are currently being sort for the second wave of the programme.

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