SYR has helped to equip a new training centre and provided equipment to train to the centre which is unique in the West Midlands area. Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust has just launched its own on-site training facility, which has achieved BICSc accreditation. It means that as well as keeping its own staff trained in the current programmes, the Trust can also offer BICSc training to other organisations. SYR was shown the premises, at The Barberry Centre in Edgbaston, by the Trust’s domestic and housekeeping manager Julie O’Connor.

Julie O’Connor said:

“We have 128 domestics, stretching from Erdington to Dorridge, delivering domestic and housekeeping services across 24 locations. We, like many hospitals, did not have access to a specific training facility. Often, one-to-one training would have to take place at different locations. When an area at the Barberry became available, I suggested to my manager that investing in a training facility would make a considerable difference to us.”

She also recognises opportunities for the future:

“While we will put our staff first and stay on top of our own training needs, longer term we will also offer training to external groups.”

The Trust is able to offer BICSc training, with the team having a range of competencies to enhance services in domestic and housekeeping. Trust staff will be trained in general competencies and mandatory elements. The mandatory competencies consist of chemical competence (MU1), safe assembly of equipment (MU2) and storage of equipment and materials (MU3). A further 10 specialist units will be delivered by the Facilities team, as well as domestic assistants and housekeepers. Julie plans to extend the training throughout the Trust.

“A lot of nurses have never had any cleaning training, which increases the risk of cross-contamination, and Infection Prevention nurses have asked to go on courses. We can also work with nursing staff on many aspects of infection, for example legionella and the importance of running water outlets.”

The room has multiple uses and features three types of flooring found throughout the hospital, and a working toilet and sink. Audio visual equipment to train is available as well as folding tables so that the space can be used for practical work, training or assessments.

“It will make us more effective and efficient in ensuring all our staff are quality trained and compliant. The first priority is to ensure all our staff receive refresher training and a licence to practice.”

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