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School-leavers on NHS career path thanks to a unique care course

A pioneering group of learners who left school last year wishing to work within healthcare have now completed the first year of a unique Health and Social Care study programme at Eastleigh College that features a dedicated work placement at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS).

On the last day of term on the Level 3 course NHS training staff met up with learners and lecturers to mark the successes of the first year. Eastleigh College is the only college offering school-leavers the hybrid opportunity to have work placements at UHS to complement their studies on a full-time course.

The cohort of 2020/2021 learners have now achieved a level of experience that is relevant to many NHS jobs and training courses. They can also demonstrate that they have looked into a role they are interested in and have some understanding of what it involves. They are now well on their way to completing the Care Certificate which will enable them to apply to work on the bank at UHS after their 18th birthdays.

Here’s what some of our learners had to say:

Work placement was really helpful personally and for my studies. I feel more confident as a person and happy knowing I have found what I want to do in the future. - Louise Anderson.

It was an amazing experience, the placement has made me realise what I want to do. The staff are incredible people to work with. - Amber Cull, (Cancer care work placement).

It has been a privilege doing this course. - Charley Leavey (Medicine for Older People work placement).

I enjoyed being able to deliver patient-centred care, being able to understand their journey. - Sam Blake (Neurology work placement).

I enjoyed gaining different experiences within the clinical setting and meeting a variety of people. - Leah Fisk (Children's outpatients work placement).

I really enjoyed interacting with the patients. Doing things like having a chat or playing a game as it was rewarding to know I made someone's day. - Ellie Challis (Paediatric Medical Unit work placement)

I really enjoyed learning the different elements of healthcare: observations, CPR, types of conversations you have with staff and patients. - Sophie Collins (Cardiac and thoracic work placement).

Level 3 Health and Social Care in partnership with University Hospital Southampton is a recognised qualification designed to give learners real work experience in a hospital as well as a structured programme underpinning theory at college. It can lead to a variety of specialisms including orthopaedics, cardiac, theatres or outpatients. Although a job is not guaranteed at the end of the programme, learners are guaranteed an interview with UHS for a Healthcare Support Worker role upon the successful completion of the course.

Find out more about Eastleigh College health and social care courses.

Read more about the Eastleigh College partnership with University Hospital Southampton.