Grey Matter Learning, a leading social care eLearning provider, has launched a pioneering programme across the Liverpool City Region to help drive-up standards of care delivered by Personal Care Assistants.
This one-of-a-kind campaign has been developed in recognition of the vital work provided by individuals working as Personal Care Assistants (PCAs) and will pull back the curtain on these unsung heroes.
The campaign is calling on councils from across the Liverpool City Region to partner with Grey Matter Learning (GML) and help them deliver real solutions to real challenges for real people, who are delivering care in the community.
As part of the campaign, Grey Matter Learning (GML) will be funding 5,000 free places across the Liverpool City Region to enable the everyday carer to access the training and development opportunities they need to deliver fantastic care.
PCAs will gain access to GML’s leading eLearning platform ‘Click’. The platform will give PCAs access to an unlimited range of online training courses that will support them to develop the skills and knowledge required in all aspects of personal care, whether they are caring for an adult, child, or someone with more complex needs.
During their free subscription, PCAs can complete as many courses as they want from the hefty 135-course catalogue. For additional support, PCAs will be signposted to the courses that are most relevant to their job roles.
Across the Liverpool City Region, there is an estimated 82,500 Personal Care Assistants. There is currently no centralised system for PCAs to access training or development opportunities.
In the latest Skills for Care ‘state of the social care workforce in England’ report, it was noted that employers who provided staff with additional training and development opportunities saw higher retention rates.
The social care workforce is under huge pressure as it faces ongoing recruitment and retention issues that threaten capacity and stability. By enabling people to remain at home, living independently for as long as possible, the pressure on care homes and domiciliary care provides can be relived – this is where the vital role of a PCA comes in.
This campaign is an opportunity for local councils to show how much they truly value the work of PCAs, offering these unsung heroes the same training and development opportunities as their peers, and ultimately increasing retention rates.
In December 2022, it was reported that almost 14,000 people were ready to be discharged from hospital but could not be sent home or into care – this is equivalent to around one in seven people in hospital. The statistics, published by the NHS highlighted that discharges were not possible due to unavailability of social care packages.
PCAs not only support the social care system but help free up beds at hospitals and reduce pressure on the NHS by providing care in a community setting.
Grey Matter Learning Managing Director Phil Hitchcox is keen to see PCAs in the region and beyond receive access to training and development opportunities to drive up standards of care.
“Personal Care Assistants provide huge benefits socially and economically. When people are supported to live independently in their homes, the pressure on the NHS is reduced significantly. The same goes for those individuals who can be discharged from hospitals to recover and be cared for in their homes.
“Whether it’s caring for a family member, a friend, or a neighbour, the care delivered by Personal Care Assistants is vital in supporting the stability of our modern-day social care system.
“I am fiercely passionate about ensuring those individuals have access to the same training and development opportunities as their peers in the sector.
“At the heart of the social care system is the people we support and ensuring they receive the highest quality care, and this campaign is all about improving standards in care for the everyday carer. Whether it’s an adult, child, or someone with more complex needs, we want this campaign to enable Personal Care Assistants to deliver outstanding care that meets individual needs.”
GML is also hopeful that the campaign will be an opportunity for PCAs to upskill and broaden their knowledge in the sector.
In the most recent Skills for Care ‘state of adult social care sector and workforce in England’ report, it noted that employers with favourable metrics, such as high levels of training and development, had lower staff turnover rates and higher CQC ratings.