Visa Healthcare says it is is combating the retention and recruitment crisis in the social care sector with the launch of its Aspiring Leaders Programme (ALP).
This follows the news that the company recently attracted over 120 new staff members, including care assistants, registered nurses and wellbeing roles, thanks to the range of initiatives in place to support over 470 team members across three outstanding care homes.
The ALP is uniquely designed for people who are looking to advance their career with the dementia care provider and move into leadership or management roles, or for those who have experience of leadership and management but would like to refresh their skills and knowledge.
The programme comprises 10 modules, hosted both on a video conferencing platform and in-person at Vida’s latest care home, Vida Court in Harrogate. The sessions challenge staff views on a number of key issues including leadership and management, and enhance understanding of the relevance and role of leaders and managers in today’s care homes and other social care settings. Modules include: ‘Why would anyone follow me?’, ‘Thrive or survive’, ‘Reflective practice’, and ‘Developing higher performing teams’.
A member of staff who recently completed the programme, said: “I think personally anyone who wants to assume a leadership position should take up this program. It has changed my perspective and given me in-depth knowledge about leadership. Now I am fully equipped and confident on how to manage situations to get the best out of people.”
Programme leader Helen Daly, Learning Development Manager at Vida Healthcare, has over 35 years experience as a registered health and care professional, with a particular focus on working in the field of continuous quality improvement at a national and local level in the pre-hospital, hospital, community healthcare and education sectors.
Commenting on the launch of the ALP, Day said: “My aim as the coordinator of our education initiatives and programmes at Vida Healthcare is to ensure a clear focus on clinical leadership and a robust evidence base to deliver positive outcomes. We launched the ALP to give every voice at Vida the chance to be heard, and to invest in our colleagues with crucial career development opportunities at a time when many sectors are struggling to support their people.”
Since its inception, 24 members of staff have completed the programme and are now ready and equipped to take on the responsibilities of leadership and contribute effectively towards the growth and development of Vida Healthcare.
Day added: “Becoming a manager has always been considered the natural next step for any individual who is progressing in their career. However not all managers are born with the ability to be great leaders. Some of the best only excel once they’re taught the skills they need to oversee a complex and dynamic workforce. We provide opportunities to learn new management skills and learn how to support other team members in their own career development. We launched the ALP programme to support our employees in management roles and hone their skills, particularly those who are new to a more senior role and may feel the pressure to perform well but lack the training they need.”
The Aspiring Leaders Course has been set up as part of Vida Healthcare’s training platform, Vida Academy. The Academy was designed and established to support all of Vida’s staff, including new starters and senior managers, and provide opportunities for career progression. The Academy promotes lifelong learning across the organisation and establishes colleagues as dementia ambassadors.