Denise Amey is a Maternity Support Worker at Poole Maternity Hospital. Denise has also recently completed an 18 month apprenticeship with the hospital.
The Level 3 Paediatric and Maternity Apprenticeship that Denise studied is being run in house at the hospital, with two days a month set aside as full learning days. Poole College run sessions at the hospitals Education Centre.
Denise is the first Maternity Support Worker to complete the apprenticeship scheme and she explained why she felt she wanted to do so;
Basically I like learning and wanted to improve my skills. I’ve been working at Poole Maternity Hospital for over a year, but have 10 years experience with the NHS working with the community in the Breast Feeding Team beforehand.
The course has been really useful and I’ve learnt a huge amount. It’s been very in depth and includes a lot of background on areas like infection control. There is also a lot of policy and law studied, including the Human Rights Act and Data Protection so we have a better understanding of how to support the women we work with."
To complete the course apprentices must study for 10 mandatory units and 11 that they chose, which tend to be around the areas in the hospital they work in, as well has four assignments. There is also initial learning around functional skills.
The local Royal College of Midwives (RCM) branch has also been actively involved with supporting apprentices signed up to the scheme.
RCM ULR Sara Fripp said;
We have been involved from the beginning and negotiated extra time off for training and study. Initially I was also involved as an apprentice assessor."
Denise said that the Hospital has been very good in working study around the various shift patterns.
Sandra Chitty is Head of Midwifery at Poole Hospital and has been very pleased with the way things have developed regarding the apprenticeship scheme and the support it has received from the Royal College of Midwives.
In the Poole Maternity service, one of our Maternity Support Workers is working towards her diploma in maternity and paediatric support through the apprenticeship programme. She has been supported to achieve this by the RCM and unionlearn providing her part of the hours to attend the mandatory study days. This member of staff is the first Maternity Support Worker to achieve this award at Poole and the first to achieve this level since the cessation of the old NVQ programme several years ago.
We are really pleased that we now have a new candidate currently based on our Postnatal Ward who has now commenced the programme.”
Denise feels that being an Apprentice has been really good for her and the job she does.
I love it, it has given me more confidence and in depth knowledge so I feel I can offer even better support to the women using the Unit."