A first of its kind event to celebrate the contribution of healthcare support workers at the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust has been a massive success.
Over 150 support workers took part in the special celebrations over two days at the National Coal Mining Museum.
The events were the idea of healthcare support workers Debbie Schofield and Sue Brearley. Sue said, "I thought it would be really good to get all the support workers together so we could celebrate our roles and what we do in the Trust.
"We work in many departments and do an array of jobs across the Trust I thought these events would give us a great opportunity to meet each other and discuss ways of developing our roles." she explains.
During the days the support workers made collages that showed the parts of their jobs they were most proud of. In the afternoon sessions the support workers considered what skills and knowledge they need that would make a difference to service users. There was also a chance to find out about training and secondment opportunities open to support workers.
Head of nursing Ann Hargate said, "The days gave support workers not only an opportunity to celebrate their roles but to explore new ways these roles could be developed. It was excellent that so many people were able to attend across the two days. Support workers make a really valuable contribution to our organisation and the people we care for and it was wonderful to hear so many innovative ideas for their future roles."
Support workers are vital to the running of services across the NHS – helping doctors, nurses and therapists give patients the care and treatment they need. Support workers have varied roles which might involve helping patients to take a bath, feed or dress themselves, assisting in therapeutic treatments, record keeping or simply talking to, and listening to patients.