Skills for Care

Bowfell House sees benefits of effective learning and development for staff

19 Jan 2024

3 min read

Skills for Care

  • Good news story
  • Learning and development
  • Retention

This #GoodNewsFriday we hear from Bowfell House about how they support learning and development for their team, and the benefits it has for the organisation.

Here at Bowfell House, we’re incredibly passionate about ensuring the quality of our teaching and learning. By having a fully trained and competent team we can be confident in achieving the highest outcomes for our residents.

Six members of our senior leadership team are trained trainers, allowing us to deliver tailored courses that are thought provoking and challenging.

Courses currently being offered include many of the mandatory courses, such as moving and handling, infection control, dementia awareness, safeguarding and many more. However, we also have a wide and diverse range of offers including supervision training, team leader workshops, nutrition and hydration, person-centered care, menopause awareness and autism awareness. As these are all run face-to-face, we can create scenarios and role plays directly linking to our residents and their needs.

We also seek to co-design courses with our team. After the success of dementia training and hungry to know more, requests were submitted for a more in-depth offer. A full day dementia course was created looking at brain pathology and lifestyle factors. These more advanced offerings support the team in knowing their appetite for knowledge will be supported and encouraged.

There are still some courses we currently externally source, again covering a variety of topics including mental health first aid and HIV Awareness. These courses are run in-house face-to-face so we can really get into the granular detail of each course and have an open and frank discussion.

Whilst undertaking the training to enable us to run courses was initially costly and time-consuming, we believe this has led to greater efficiencies and savings elsewhere and has had a huge impact on our team. For example, the passion for learning throughout the team has enhanced the passion for development – team members are keen to complete their Personal Development Plans where they can identify areas of learning they are most interested in. Dedication to learning also helps when we seek to identify individuals for further promotion as we upskill across the team constantly.

Our learning isn’t restricted to formal courses; our enhanced carers chose a specialism they have a direct interest in and undertake higher level training which they then share with the team through their noticeboards and face-to-face support. They often present at small team meetings to build their confidence and spread the knowledge they’ve gained. Learning circles and team huddles enable team members to share best practice and learn from mistakes and omissions.

The State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce 2023 identified that having access to training and being able to undertake a qualification were two of the five key factors in retaining staff in the health and social care sector, bringing down average turnover rates from nearly 50% where none of the five factors are present to just over 20% where all are. Here at Bowfell in the last three years we’ve reduced turnover from 21% to 12%, thanks, in no small part, to the training package we’re able to deliver.

This reduction in turnover means less of the associated costs and time required for new recruitment and ultimately ensures better outcomes for residents in terms of familiarity with the core team and consistency of high-quality care. It also means we can rely on the team to provide the highest standards of care.


Find more information to support with learning and development on our #KeepLearning spotlight.

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