First New Public Sector NVQ For Lymington New Forest Hospital Staff
Staff at Lymington New Forest Hospital, including cleaners, caterers, porters and housekeepers, have been the first to gain from a new training programme aimed at raising skills in public services. All 53 employees working for international facilities services Group OCS at the hospital have been awarded their NVQ level 2 in customer service, including teamwork, Health and Safety and equality and diversity, through The Public Sector Skills Framework (PSSF).
Catherine Bowell, Director of Adult Services for Hampshire Community Health Care, said, “It is a marvelous achievement that so many of the hospital staff managed to receive this qualification and it’s great to see continuing development regardless of age or position.”
The PSSF equips staff with skills over and above those needed for their basic role to help improve their job prospects and give increased motivation and improved morale. The OCS staff at Lymington New Forest Hospital who have benefited from the scheme range from 18 to 78 years old The oldest, Harry Racey-Brightey 78, who cleans the hospital operating theatres, said “I’m really pleased to have gained the NVQ. It just goes to show that it’s never too late to learn.” Housekeeper Katie Bednarska added, “This has really helped give me the confidence to help customers and as English is my second language I feel especially proud."
The nationally recognised qualification has been developed by Asset Skills, the Sector Skills Council for facilities management, in partnership with other professional bodies. Funded by the government’s Train To Gain initiative, the PSSF will help to improve the service offered to the public. Esther Johnson, who works as a hospital housekeeper, said, “The course really helps because it makes you think more about the service you deliver,” and porter Peter Knight said, “It’s made me more alert and aware of the things that are going on around the hospital.”
Richard Foxwell, Head of Special Projects at Asset Skills, said, “The PSSF was started after research showed lack of customer service skills among many frontline staff in the public sector. It will be of enormous benefit to employers in this sector and their staff.”
For many of the staff this is their first nationally accredited qualification and OCS has been keen to support this pilot scheme. “High standards of facilities management services are crucial to the overall success of the hospital,” said OCS Chief Executive Chris Cracknell, “and we are delighted that some of the staff have expressed an interest in following up the programme with a further NVQ in their technical discipline. Our site managers are giving the programme the fullest support.”
Lymington New Forest Hospital is a new, state-of-the-art hospital which opened its doors to the public in 2007. The hospital is a ‘one stop shop’ with appointment, consultant, diagnosis and treatment services all under one roof and is Hampshire Community Health Care’s flagship hospital.