West Yorkshire Excellence CentreA new partnership between Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is set to improve the training and skills of healthcare support workers across the West Yorkshire region.

The West Yorkshire Excellence Centre is an initiative that brings together the resources and expertise of the two NHS trusts to enable staff in a variety of healthcare settings – including hospitals, care homes, dentists and GP practices – to access high-quality training and opportunities to develop in their roles.

The partnership is a response to the need to increase the availability of good quality training in a planned and sustainable way for support workers, who make up 40% of the healthcare workforce but whose needs for training to maintain their skills and qualifications can sometimes be overlooked.

One of nine in a national network run by the National Skills Academy for Health and one of the first in the North, the centre will act as a hub in the West Yorkshire region for healthcare employers to work together with education and training providers to design and deliver training and learning packages, share best practice and make the best use of facilities to help healthcare workers improve their skills.

It will contribute to a workforce with the competency and experience to ensure people in West Yorkshire are provided with the highest quality health and social care.

Speaking at the launch, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Chief Executive, Julian Hartley said: “This is an important and exciting partnership that will provide excellent training and development opportunities for healthcare support workers in different organisations across the region. It will link closely with the Sustainability and Transformation Plan for West Yorkshire to provide an integrated workforce with the flexibility and skills to deliver the highest quality care for local people.”

Simon Large, Chief Executive of Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Trust is delighted to be a key partner in this new venture that will bring together local employers and training providers, across health and social care. Staff are our most valuable asset and this initiative will provide development opportunities for our healthcare support teams, who are working with local communities and people in our care.”

The Director of the National Skills Academy for Health, Candace Miller, added: “Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust are fantastic champions of vocational education and training, and are actively engaged in ensuring that skills development is an integral part of transformed and sustainable healthcare across the West Yorkshire area.”