Learning & Development Blog by Mike Lakins - June 2018

It’s been a busy month with training, we have received the dates for our two registered nurses, Sue and Deborah to embark upon their mentorship course at UCLAN, and this will equip them with the necessary skills to become fully qualified whilst at Springhill Care Home.

The functional skills courses facilitated by Accrington and Rossendale College that run weekly at night here at Springhill are progressing well and I understand that the progress being made by the staff attending is ‘fantastic’.  All our learners have been given full access to quality online learning materials and self-directed study materials, clearly this is an example of a successful partnership collaboration within the local community – it demonstrates our commitment to staff training and emphasises the importance of supporting people to achieve their aspirations.

Progress with the Nursing Pathway is ongoing with the University of Central Lancashire and we continue to work closely with the university, making sure all steps to achieve a seamless learner journey are being taken and where adjustment or advice is required, this is sought. 

We are almost ready to sign up the next cohort of Assistant Practitioners (APs) who will be undertaking the AP Apprenticeship under the new standards. Extensive work has been conducted behind the scenes to ensure that the course is tailored to meet the needs of Springhill, all partners involved are working tirelessly to achieve this end result.

So to summarise…

Work on all aspects of training continues successfully; the importance of collaborative working and developing and maintaining innovative approaches remains essential; we are fortunate to have partners and stakeholders in the process, that are committed to support us to achieve our vision.


Mike Lakins

Head of Learning and Development



Strengthening community links by Virginia Perkins

Springhill Care Group are delighted to have embarked on a joint collaboration with Broadfield Specialist School, Oswaldtwistle via the Enterprise Advisor Network.


Donna Briggs, Managing Director and I were approached last year to be Enterprise Advisors to use our business experience and knowledge to inspire young people.  Volunteering can be incredibly rewarding and has allowed us to develop our strategy skills and gain new experiences as a role model to young people in the communities in which we serve. 


Part of an Enterprise Advisor’s job is to share insights about job opportunities and the key skills that local and national businesses need.  Working with Broadfield Specialist School has allowed Springhill Care Home to offer the opportunity for two students, Ben and Megan, to sample and be exposed to working in the care sector through work experience placements.  Curtis Bennett, General Manager and myself recently interviewed Ben and Megan, which in itself was a rewarding experience, to explore their interests and identify work opportunities for them both.  It was agreed that working within the Lifestyle team would be suitable.  


This being the case, under the supervision of Paige Duval, Lifestyle Co-ordinator, Ben and Megan have helped to organise social activities tailored to the needs and abilities of the residents, as well as group activities including painting, games and chair aerobics.  Ben and Megan visit the Home every Thursday for a couple of hours which allows them to experience working life.  They both thoroughly enjoy their time at Springhill and this is very much reciprocated by staff members and our residents. 


We are looking to further strengthen our links with Broadfield Specialist School and welcome more students to the care sector in time to come.  



Virginia Perkins

Associate Director

People and Organisational Development



Learning & Development Blog by Mike Lakins - May 2018

Wanting to support our staff to achieve their aspirations is not only key in helping us fulfil our vision and mission here at Springhill Care; but is integral in constantly improving the business so that our staff feel valued and the quality of care, support and hospitality we provide is constantly revisited, reviewed and adapted to meet the needs of a constantly changing dynamic – our residents.

Working closely and in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire is one venture we are proud of within the company. It is our vision that staff wishing to fulfil a successful career within the care sector, in particular nursing, may enter Springhill with little or few qualifications and embark upon a learner journey that can be life changing – So how do we get there?

Starting with a level 2 in Health and Social Care and working closely with our training provider Lowry Training is only the beginning – following a structured training programme of fully supported learning allows new staff to put into practice their acquired skill set.

We recognise that some staff may be happy to remain at this level, they are after all equipped with the skills they require, and development doesn’t stop here for these people, we provide on-going training and we are constantly looking for training opportunities, perhaps in other specialisms of health and social care so that there is continuing professional development - at Springhill we never stand still.


Following a period of consolidation and supervision, those staff wishing to continue on their career pathway, can move onto a level 3 in health and social care, subject to an appropriate skillset being identified; again the learning programme is fully supported by our training partners and builds on a foundation provided by the level 2.

Once the level 2 and 3 is complete, then those staff who can demonstrate their ability and wish to follow a clinical route can apply for the position of Assistant Practitioner. This role supports the Registered Nurse in his/her day to day duties. It is a level 5 qualification that looks at a raft of technical competencies and prepares the candidate fully for the position. It is an important role within our organisation and study requires dedication and commitment –something we are not afraid of here at Springhill.

We cannot over emphasise the commitment it takes staff to reach this juncture and it is at this point that they have to decide in which direction they wish to take their career. Some staff may recognise that their current learner journey is finished and at Springhill we support their decision fully – the role of an Assistant Practitioner is rewarding incredibly important within the organisation.

For some staff the desire to take that learner journey to the next level is important - our current vision here in the training department is that these staff will be given the opportunity to apply for a Nursing Apprenticeship with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) which is in the process of being developed – the Nursing Pathway. At Springhill we are working towards staff having a guaranteed interview with UCLan . The roll out for the Nursing Apprenticeship is now scheduled for September 2019, but these dates have yet to be finalised and the terms and conditions agreed.

In preparation for the Nurse Apprenticeship, we have enrolled two of our registered nurses here at Springhill on a mentoring course so that we can accommodate nursing placements too. Sue Balazs and Deborah Bennett have both agreed to become mentors to support student nurses during their nurse training.
It’s a thrilling time to be part of Springhill!


Want to join our team? click HERE


Mike Lakins

Learning and Development Coordinator at Springhill Care Home


Read Mike's April 2018 Blog HERE


Why investing in our workforce is crucial by Virginia Perkins

We have discussed the importance of values based recruitment, a crucial area that Springhill Care Group prides itself on promoting, together with the fantastic and robust induction programme our new employees are provided. Now we would like to explain how we follow the journey of our new employees through the company as they embark on a career in care.

We will already have engaged with our new employees through our on boarding process which integrates new employees into the company and it’s culture. This is further enhanced by the provision of support through regular probationary reviews together with individual and team supervision meetings. Our employees continue to be supported, guided and encouraged via our experienced employees who act in the capacity of a buddy.

During their employment our employees can access a whole range of learning and development opportunities to support their career aspirations via the nursing pathway, promotional opportunities and electing to be a champion in a particular area.

In so many ways we continue to ensure that our new and existing employees are managed properly through their employment journey, not only for increased productivity, but also to ensure morale and trust remains high among our workforce. To invest in the workforce means to ensure effective staffing levels are in operation along with ensuring the workforce is rewarded, competitively remunerated, educated, developed, engaged, treated fairly and acknowledged for good work. Our leaders in the organisation are trusted individuals with values at their very core to ensure they achieve high performance and contribute to being the best that they can be.

The workforce is our biggest asset but not only are they critical to providing exemplary care to our residents, they’re also our biggest competitive advantage.


Virginia Perkins

Associate Director

People and Organisational Development




NEW Learning & Development Blog by Mike Lakins - April 2018

We are delighted to introduce you to our new blogger Mike Lakins....


Hello my name is Mike and I am the Learning & Development Coordinator for Springhill Care Home, Accrington.


Following on from our values based practice in terms of recruitment that Virginia Perkins, Associate Director for People and Organisational Development  discussed in her March 2018 blog; we are keen to ensure that the recruitment process continues through to our induction.


As Learning & Development Co-ordinator it is part of my role to ensure that the training and mentoring that our staff receive, is delivered effectively and meets the needs of the business.


Not only is it the knowledge that is required to underpin our day to day practice, but it is ensuring that our behavioural competencies are aligned within the training and that our core values run through each and every aspect of our induction programme.


The current induction is a four day programme which covers all aspects of mandatory training so that the on-boarding process of our new staff, is seamless. We examine our Vision, Mission and Values so that from the start our new staff understand the very foundation on which our organisation is built.


Undoubtedly we understand and appreciate that our employees are our greatest asset and we want to encourage their potential, therefore we recognise the importance of equipping them not only with the mandatory elements of their job role but also in offering specific qualifications to enhance their experience of care giving here at Springhill Care.


In addition to our successful in-house training, we have forged links with external training providers such as Lowry Training, so that we can offer Level 2 and 3 Diplomas in Health & Social Care and Level 5 in Leadership and Management and Assistant Practitioner.


And we haven’t stopped there – we are working closely with our external customers raising our profile within the community locally, and have set up some fantastic partnerships with Accrington and Rossendale College and the University of Central Lancashire.


At Springhill we want to support staff to achieve their aspirations and we believe working closely with these external customers will help greatly.  


Mike Lakins

Learning and Development Coordinator at Springhill Care Home


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Springhill Care Group Limited
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Accrington, Lancashire
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