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Fast-track health board training kicks off

The exterior of the Liberty Stadium.

Training courses to get new and returning health care workers into hospitals quickly as demand rises due to COVID-19 are taking place at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium.

Newly-registered nurses, new health care support workers (HCSWs), existing clinical staff and medical students are among those on specially designed, fast-track induction programs delivered by the nurse education team at Swansea Bay University Heath Board.

The size of the venue, above, means larger numbers of trainees can go through the training programmes while still being able to observe social distancing measures.

Moving training out of the hospitals has also freed up clinical areas for the expected surge in patient numbers.

Lynne Jones, head of nursing education, said: “These are unprecedented times and we have taken this remarkable measure to help us fulfill our need for new staff.

“We are grateful to the Liberty Stadium for allowing us to use their facilities and are focused on ensuring our staff are as prepared as possible for the vital roles they will play.”

The courses taking place include:

  • Induction for newly registered nurses
  • Induction for newly recruited HCSWs and medical students who have applied to work as HCSWs
  • Upskilling of existing staff who have been in non-clinical roles and will be returning to the wards
  • Training for newly recruited facilities staff.

Within days retired nurses and those returning to the profession through the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s temporary COVID-19 register will also begin courses, which are being delivered in several of the stadium’s conference rooms.

They are expected to receive two to three days of training.

Lynne added: “Trainees will receive traditional lectures, but will also work with mannequins where necessary so they can practice those all-important clinical skills.”

Swansea City chairman, Trevor Birch, said: “I think we all recognise the amazing work the NHS and the care workers are doing to keep us safe. They are undoubtedly the heroes during these difficult and concerning times for everyone.

“We offered the Liberty Stadium to the NHS and the emergency services during the early days of the crisis and we are delighted we are able to assist them deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.

“As a football club with our heart and mind firmly in the community, it is the least we can do to help.’’

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