More than 50 guests attended the launch of the Pan-Dorset Academy of Health and Social Care at BU's Executive Business Centre (EBC). The Academy aims to develop an integrated approach to providing education and training for local health and social care agencies.
Hosted by Professor Keith Brown, Director of the National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work and Professional Practice at BU, the event saw a range of speakers present a short pitch for how their service could benefit from the Academy.
Professor Brown said: “It’s an opportunity to try and bring the major employers in Dorset and three local authorities and health organisations together to think about their recruitment and retention strategies for key staff in the area. There is a great difficulty in recruiting social workers and nurses and in particular, keeping the most experienced staff.”
He added: “It’s more than getting these organisations talking – it’s about agreeing a joint CPD or Continuing Professional Development strategy for all their health and social care workers so that it doesn’t matter whether you work for Bournemouth, Dorset or Poole, there’s an integrated approach to workforce development.”
Jan Thurgood, Strategic Director for People at Borough of Poole, who also presented some of her ambitions for the project, said: “I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for health, social care and children’s services in Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth to really grow our workforce and to develop them in a way that really changes the quality of what we can deliver to the public.
“I think we will be able to provide integrated development opportunities, and we will also be able to focus on the leadership of services through our partnership with Bournemouth University.”
Colin Hague, Director of HR at Dorset HealthCare, pictured, said: “The Academy is excellent. We all need to work together in the spirit of partnership, moving forward positively and making a difference while investing in learning and development. We are much stronger working together as partners than we are working individually.
“It adds to the care and difference we can make to citizens in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole and making a difference to the community through our collective work.”
Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults at the Department of Health addressed the audience via video to praise an ‘exciting launch which would provide a platform for the workforce in Bournemouth’, remarking further that the NHS needed ‘broader ranges of skills to make a difference to patients and carers’ with a ‘greater need for more integrated services with more capability to work flexibly’.
Steve Crocker, of Dorset County Council, BU Student Ros Richards, and Sue Ross, Service Director of Children’s Social Care at Bournemouth Borough Council also addressed the audience.
To read more about the Academy, please visit: www.pandorsetacademy.gdesignworks.co.uk/