Healthcare

Make Caring Your Career

A career in healthcare can be rewarding, offering job satisfaction as you care for those in need. There are many paths into the sector and undertaking an apprenticeship can be an ideal route to embark on a rewarding career.

Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to earn while you learn and gain key skills that can reap rewards both inside and outside the healthcare sector.


Chesterfield Royal Hospital and University of Derby

Apprentice providers in Chesterfield have strong links with Chesterfield Royal Hospital, which makes developing a career in healthcare even easier. The University of Derby work with Chesterfield Royal Hospital to offer apprenticeship training in healthcare, covering a wide range of occupations

Meet Hayley Pickles, Nursing Degree apprentice at Chesterfield Royal Hospital. Hayley shows how you can use degree level apprenticeships to gain the relevant skills and qualifications to become a nurse.

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Hayley explained: “I used to work as a Graphic Designer, however I soon realised it was not for me and I wanted a job which would give me compassion satisfaction. I decided I wanted to be a Nurse but I had never worked in healthcare before and so I got a job as a Healthcare Assistant in 2015 at Chesterfield Royal to gain experience in that environment. I loved it, however due to having two small children at nursery I could not finance a nursing degree. I completed a 2-year apprenticeship to become an Assistant Practitioner (AP) which enabled me to still work on Robinson Ward and gain a foundation degree whilst being supported by Chesterfield Royal.

After being qualified as an AP for just over a year the nursing apprenticeship appeared so I decided this was my opportunity to become a nurse by doing a 2 year top up degree. My children are older now and it meant I would still be supported financially and emotionally by Chesterfield Royal.”

Kirsty Miles, Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) is also an apprentice at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

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Kirsty said: “I absolutely LOVE my job! There’s never a day goes by when I don’t look forward to coming to work – every day is completely different and that’s one of the reasons why this role and the operating theatre department are so unique. Not a lot of people actually know what an Operating Department Practitioner is, or what they do. I must admit, before I came to work in Theatres, neither did I! However, I soon came to learn just how interesting and important their roles actually are.

Because this course is an apprenticeship, it means I get the best of both worlds! I still get paid my regular wage but am able to work and learn on the job as a trainee ODP, alongside my wonderful colleagues. The help and support I get from them, my mentors and the course leads at university, is second to none.”


Business Administration

Healthcare is such a vast sector, and roles vary from administration, payroll, community care, doctors, surgeons, across nursing home and social care settings as well, to name just a few opportunities.

Ellie Gibson is a Level 3 Business Administration apprentice at Heathcotes Group and is the 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards Apprentice of the Year.

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Ellie heard about the apprenticeship route when she was at Bolsover School. While she liked the idea of working full-time and progressing within a company, Ellie decided to go to college to complete her Level 3 in Travel and Tourism before going on to university for a year to do Tourism and Events Management.

University wasn’t right for Ellie, and she decided to leave and join Heathcotes as a business administration apprentice. She explained: “I wanted to learn whilst earning. I also liked the idea of continuing to work at the place while I did my qualification and being able to progress with the same company. My family and friends were very supportive of that idea too.”

Now, after completing her Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship, Ellie is undertaking the Level 3 course and hopes to continue progressing within the company. She added: “I plan to continue developing myself and keep progressing. I enjoy getting to know the business and creating working relationships with people, learning new skills, and adapting my ways of work.”


One to One Support Services

Are you looking to hire an apprentice? One to One Support Services is one of the many apprentice providers in Chesterfield that offer apprenticeships in adult care and childcare.

One to One Support Services Apprentice

Janice, Employer and Managing Director at Chantreyland and Brierley said: “Since using One to One Support Services, I am able to be totally confident my apprentices are receiving the best mentoring training possible to compliments their workplace skills training. One to One Support Services work closely with the company enabling qualified staff to provide the appropriate skills training at the point of the apprenticeship study. The partnership results in fully skilled apprentices entering our workforce with the prospects of adding their character to our childcare setting.”


There are lots of different careers available in healthcare to suit an array of interests and skills sets. If you fancy a career in healthcare, you can find out more about apprenticeships and search current vacancies here.

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Community Chesterfield reflects on voluntary sector impact

A partnership project between the University of Derby and Derbyshire Voluntary Action (DVA) is reflecting on the impact it has made within the health and social care sector after creating almost 4,000 ‘meaningful connections’ across Chesterfield.

Community Chesterfield, which is nearing the end of its third year, links up the skills, knowledge and experience at the University of Derby with those of the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and has been a vital support network in the area since its launch in 2019.

The ‘meaningful connections’ between VCS organisations and the University is where the activity organised brings benefits to both. They have included Expert by Experience sessions, which have seen the project connect individuals from voluntary and community sector groups with university staff and students to share their lived experience.

Around 2250 students from the University of Derby have met 57 Experts by Experience, covering topics including family carers, medication management, mental health issues and hearing and sight loss.

Over the last three years, Community Chesterfield has also helped to successfully increase funding for local VCS groups by more than £110,000 as a result of the skills and knowledge they have gained through their involvement with the project.

The project’s online training model also continued to thrive, having delivered more than one thousand training hours in the last 12 months alone and 2271 hours in total since the start of the project. The sessions have been attended by more than 140 local health and social care sector organisations.

After assessing the need based on conversations and feedback from groups, Community Chesterfield also added in a provision for e-learning courses, as well as the project’s popular Training and Tea model – a series of 45-minute sessions at a regular day and time slot.

In addition to the popular training sessions, more than 570 participants attended shared learning workshops. These workshops, which include the Connect and Reflect sessions, aim to connect the community, the health and social care sector and the University to allow them to discuss, learn from and reflect on the common experiences we each have.

Jennifer Raschbauer, Community Chesterfield’s project manager, said: “The aim of our project has always been to bring together the University of Derby with the local community to create a resourceful, experienced and knowledgeable health and social care sector in Chesterfield.

“Despite having to negotiate through the ever-changing landscape because of the pandemic, we are extremely proud what we have achieved in the last three years and the visible positive impact with have had on the local VCS sector.

“By providing these valuable opportunities for the VCS and university to come together, we have been able to strengthen the skills of the local workforce in this sector, enabling them to be more resilient in the future and to provide the best possible support to their service users.

“As we look to the future of the Community Chesterfield project, we are excited to both cement and increase the connections we have made in the local community. We have plans to widen the reach of the work we do, which is an exciting prospect and will allow us to create more opportunities for more people across Chesterfield.”

Community Chesterfield has also facilitated 63 students to provide support to a variety of local VCS groups and supported more than 60 students on their negotiated module, where they can select a subject area of interest to them that’s not covered in the curriculum and which introduced them to a number of local charities and voluntary groups.

In addition, the project has organised five internships and 15 work placements and skills days, as well enabling the creation of one academic publication.

For more information about Community Chesterfield visit www.communitychesterfield.org.uk.

Community Chesterfield supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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NHS recruitment event to take place in Chesterfield in the new year

A recruitment event is set to take place in the new year, showcasing the opportunities available within the NHS across Derbyshire.

Derbyshire Healthcare is a specialist provider of children’s, learning disability, substance misuse and mental health services – across community, inpatient and other settings. The Trust is actively looking to recruit Band 5 and 6 registered mental health and learning disability nurses, as well as occupational therapists.

To assist with this a series of recruitment events around the county are being planned, with the first one taking place from 10.00am-3.00pm on 15 January in Chesterfield at the Technique Stadium. There will be staff available to chat to about working for the Trust and the opportunities that are available. To make the recruitment process more effective and efficient, applications will be handled on the day, with interviews and conditional offers being made at the same time.

The Trust employs more than 2,800 staff providing services from several community and inpatient settings across the whole of Derbyshire. Across the county and the city, it serves a combined population of approximately one million people.  The Trust is looking for enthusiastic, talented and compassionate qualified staff to provide quality children’s, mental health, learning disability and substance misuse services to the people of Derbyshire.

The Trust is positive about making a difference to the people who use its services and we can offer a great career. It is also growing – with lots of local investment in services and new services being developed, offering lots of opportunities to colleagues.  There are also some innovative progression schemes, such as a Band 5 to Band 6 progression scheme for inpatient nurses.

The first in a series of recruitment events will take place on Saturday 15 January at the Technique Stadium in Chesterfield, focusing on opportunities in our acute and community mental health teams for nursing and occupational therapy colleagues.

If you are interest in attending the event, which will run from 10.00am – 3.00pm, you can register your interest by contacting the team at: DCHST.peopleresourceteam@nhs.net

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Heathcotes opens new supported living in Chesterfield

Care provider, Heathcotes Group, has opened a new provision of independent supported living properties in Chesterfield for adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs.

The company’s Brendon House service features four self-contained apartments for individuals who are stepping down from a hospital or full-time residential care setting to improve their independent living skills.

Each property offers spacious accommodation with its own lounge, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. The two-storey building includes two apartments and communal space on each floor as well as separate space for an on-site team of around 10 support workers providing 24-hour care support when needed.

Heathcotes’ Director of Business Development, Natalia Lysiuk, said: “The opening of Brendon House is another step in the expansion of our enhanced supported living services, which we have developed to complement our full-time residential care provision. We have worked closely with Derbyshire County Council on this development, which has been a real success.

“For the people we support, the type of accommodation we offer at Brendon House represents the next stage in the care pathway towards full independence. It is also suitable for individuals who require a single-person service due to their complexity and inability to live with others.

“Brendon House follows our successful model for independent supported living, providing a homely environment which encourages and facilitates the development of daily living skills. The setting also naturally fosters a sense of community and social inclusion amongst residents, progressing hand-in-hand with their increasing independence.

“Our on-site team is available to assist whenever required and each resident has a designated support worker for ongoing support. Having established a range of supported living provision in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, we are now looking to significantly increase this type of service and accommodation in the East Midlands.”

With a head office in Chesterfield, Heathcotes Group has over 74 residential and supported living services nationwide. The company provides a range of specialist services supporting individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome, autism, Down Syndrome, learning disabilities, Personality Disorder, physical disabilities, Prader-Willi Syndrome, sensory impairments, speech difficulties and severe epilepsy.

Heathcotes Group supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Ashgate Hospicecare staff reunite with relatives of patients they’ve cared for

Ashgate Hospicecare has released three ‘emotionally charged’ videos reuniting its staff with the relatives of patients they cared for in their final days.

The videos, released during Hospice Care Week (4th – 8th October) and filmed in the hospice gardens, reveal the crucial support patients and their families received from Ashgate and how its staff care not just for its patients but for their families and loved ones too.

One of those people is 38-year-old Simon Birley from Clowne, who in October 2020, married his wife Lindsay in a special ceremony at the hospice where Lindsay was being cared for in Ashgate’s Inpatient Unit. Tragically, Lindsay died just one month later.

Simon said: “Throughout her short illness, she never once complained; it’s just awful that one minute we’d just welcomed our son Isaac into the world and were so happy, the next thing life comes crashing to pieces. All we ever wanted was our own family, and then cancer took it away from us.

“I’m just so grateful that Ashgate was able to be there for us all. Lindsay was so comfortable here and they did everything they could to offer the best care possible.

“She loved all the people that came around and supported her. She truly loved Ashgate and was so thankful that a place like the hospice existed.”

Simon breaks down in tears when he is reunited with Ashgate’s Ward Manager, Karen Walker, who supported the couple on their special day.

He adds: “Karen is just an amazing person. It’s hard to put into words the difference that somebody has made. When my life had been shattered and I was seeing my loved one changing due to the disease, Karen was there to support us all.

“On the wedding day, Karen was there to support Lindsay and having her there made us much more relaxed, she helped make our wedding day go as well as it possibly could have. Without her and everyone else at Ashgate, we wouldn’t have been able to get married.
“I look up to Karen as someone who made a positive impact on my life, and I’ll be forever thankful for that.”

In another video, 61-year-old Sheryle Scott, from Sheffield, pays tribute to Helen Harrison, an Ashgate Community Nurse Specialist who cared for her brother Mark Coley at home after he was diagnosed with MND.

Sheryle said: “Without Helen, I don’t know what we would’ve done. We felt like we’d known her all our lives.

“With Helen, her patients must all feel the same way, we felt that we were the only patients she had.

“She just pulled everything together for us in a matter of days. I could phone her whenever I liked, even during the lockdown it was never a problem.

“Helen became such a big part of our life and I’m so grateful for everything she did for Mark and our family. She just never stopped caring.”

In the final video, Graham Matthews, from Killamarsh, returns to Ashgate to reunite with Lucy, the physiotherapist who “helped to extend the life” of his wife Diane, who was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy, a rare degenerative neurological condition similar to Motor Neurone Disease.

Graham said: “We were so worried about how life would end for Diane, but fortunately, thanks to the support of everyone at Ashgate, it was very peaceful for her.

“Lucy was a big part of Diane’s life towards the end. She helped make a terrible situation much brighter and more cheerful.

“I remember when she couldn’t even stand up or get her head up, but through Lucy’s hard work Diane managed to get her head back up and even stood up a couple of times.”

The charity, which provides specialist end-of-life care to patients with complex palliative care needs across North Derbyshire, hopes the videos will provide an insight into the care and support they offer and raise awareness of their services.

Hayley Wardle, Director of Quality and Patient Care at Ashgate, said: “Hospice Care Week is all about raising awareness and challenging perceptions of hospice care. These videos help to do just that by highlighting the lasting impact that good quality hospice care can have.
“The stories shared in these videos are incredibly emotional and I feel a deep sense of pride that Ashgate was able to support those families when they needed us most.

“Our hope is these videos will help explain in a bit more detail the support we provide not just to our patients but to their families and loved ones too by bringing the reality of what we are all about straight into people’s homes.”

To watch the videos, go to: www.youtube.com/user/ashgatehospice or to donate visit www.ashgatehospicecare.org.uk/donation

Ashgate Hospicecare supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Work begins on multi-million pound urgent care centre at Chesterfield Royal Hospital

Work has started on an exciting £24million development that will revolutionise the way Chesterfield Royal Hospital delivers Urgent and Emergency care.

After years of planning and months of preparation to make the site ready for work to begin, the hospital is now moving into the next stage of the project which will see the building come to life.

Construction begins today (7th September 2021) and will take approximately 18 months to complete, opening in summer 2023. This New Urgent and Emergency Care Development will provide the hospital with a state of the art environment that enables staff to truly transform urgent and emergency care services.

The stylish, new Urgent and Emergency Care Department building has integration at the heart, bringing together a host of services into defined clinical areas to ensure that patients can get the support they require based on their clinical need, be it a minor illness or injury, or emergency care for a serious accident or critical care for a life-threatening condition.

This vision will become a reality when the building, developed thanks to involvement from staff, partners and representatives across the Joined Up Care Derbyshire integrated health system, is complete. The Development will include an Urgent Treatment Centre for minor injuries or illness, as well as defined areas for paediatric care, major injuries and medical emergencies.

There is also dedicated space for patients requiring emergency mental health support.  The hospital is already working closely with clinicians within the Trust and the wider healthcare system to develop its pathways to deliver a truly integrated model of care encompassing therapy, diagnostic imaging, primary community and social care services.

Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer at the hospital, Berenice Groves is leading the project and explains more: “After a significant focus on  planning and design in consultation with clinical colleagues and partners, we are delighted to get this development underway. It’s exciting to see our project come to life and is a real boost for everyone to see the work begin. This is the biggest development in our Urgent and Emergency Care Services since the hospital opened its doors in 1984.

“As we are building a new department, our current emergency services will not be affected or disrupted during the construction. We look forward to seeing the building develop over the next few years, ready to open to patients in summer 2023. The new department and the ongoing pathway developments will benefit our patients for years to come”

Demand for Emergency Care is increasing year on year and the trust has exhausted all available opportunities to expand and adapt services within the existing footprint. The current Emergency Department (ED) was built in 1984 and has delivered outstanding care to our patients, however as demand increases the department’s ability to work flexibly and adapt to new ways of working is limited. With this in mind, and taking into account emerging models of care, learning from the pandemic experience and building on closer partnership links, the Trust made the decision to revise the plans to refurbish the current Emergency Department and embark upon a new build approach. The building will be situated next to the current ED building with the aim of ensuring patients can be streamlined to the most appropriate clinical service based on their clinical need.

Katherine Lendrum is the Trust’s Consultant in Emergency Care and Clinical Lead for the Emergency Department, she said: “This will make a huge difference and the team is incredibly excited to see work start on the building. This last 18 months have given us an opportunity to apply what we’ve learned throughout the pandemic, cement the partnerships we’ve developed and to strengthen new ways of working that ensure our patients’ experience is a good one.

“Whatever level of care you need, you will immediately be in the right place when you arrive at the door.  Then it’s our job to assess you and make sure you see the right expert in the right part of our Emergency or Urgent Care Department as quickly as possible.  This could be a GP, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Therapist or Consultant, but it will be someone with the skills and expertise that you require.

“Making the best use of our resources is a key part of patient care by ensuring our patients are given the most appropriate care in the right place without placing undue pressure on our services. We have seen demand on services build at the hospital and to continue with our ED as it currently stands wasn’t an option in the long term. We are close to having outgrown it but additional capacity has been built into the design of the unit to change the way we can deliver care and improve the experience for our patients.”

By involving staff, partners and representatives across the Joined Up Care Derbyshire integrated health system in the creation of this new facility the new Urgent and Emergency Care Department will provide collaborative services that make the most of digital innovation and technology, best practice care and treatment and give patients the best possible outcomes through exceptional care.

The project will also include building a new paediatric assessment unit (PAU) alongside the Royal’s Nightingale Children’s Unit to ensure babies, children and youngsters with acute illness or injury are assessed, investigated, observed and treated with an expectation of discharge home in 12 hours or less. Work is due to start on that part of the development in the New Year.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Men across Chesterfield to be encouraged to consider careers in healthcare

A free event aimed at encouraging men to consider careers in health and social care is set to take place in Chesterfield.

Health and Social Care Needs Men is part of ‘Careers that Care’ week, a series of virtual events organised in partnership with Derbyshire Voluntary Action’s (DVA) Community Chesterfield project, the University of Derby and Joined Up Careers Derbyshire.

The event will see a panel of men who work in health and social care answer questions and discuss what led them to work in the sector, what they get out of it and why there are less men working in certain healthcare professions than women.

The panel will be made up of representatives from the public sector, including a Derbyshire County Council social worker, a 111 senior trainer from DHU Health Care and nurse, as well as voluntary sector workers. These will include Nathan Wood, Chief Executive Officer of the charity Ability, who appeared in a short film made for the event, and a spiritual care practitioner from Ashgate Hospicecare. Questions will be asked by a current nursing student from University of Derby.

Charlotte Repton, project manager at Community Chesterfield, said: “A career in health and social care offers a huge range of career choices, all of which can be hugely rewarding for those who choose to follow that path. Through the Health and Social Care Needs Men event, we wanted to open up the discussion around why, despite this, there is still a higher percentage of women in many healthcare roles, particularly in areas such as nursing.

“The event is set to provide an extremely interesting insight into this topic, directly from men who work in health and social care, as well as giving attendees the opportunity to have their questions or concerns around stepping into a career in health and social care answered.”

This event is open to anyone from Chesterfield and surrounding areas with an interest in health and social care. However, it will be of particular interest to men who may be considering a career in health and social care, parents or teachers who may be offering guidance to a young person making decisions about their future careers and current students who wish to find out about the range of careers their studies could lead them to.

For more information or to book a free place on the Health and Social Care Needs Men event, visit www.careersthatcareweek.org/events.

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Head into healthcare – a Career with Choice

Apprenticeships can be a great way to develop a career, especially in healthcare as they provide the chance to re-skill and the opportunity to earn whilst you learn. They also lead to nationally recognised qualifications and a foot in the door to your chosen career.

Develop a career 

In Chesterfield, Apprentice Providers have strong links with Chesterfield Royal Hospital, which makes developing a career in healthcare even easier.

The University of Derby work with Chesterfield Royal Hospital to offer apprenticeship training in Nursing.

Lauren Slinn, an Associate Practitioner (AP), used her apprenticeship as a steppingstone to become a registered nurse. “Studying and qualifying as an AP during the pandemic has been hard. It was difficult being redeployed to ITU whilst also writing and submitting assignments, but with the help of tutors at Derby University I have managed to complete it. Now I will be furthering my studies and have begun training to become a registered nurse, something that would not have been possible without the foundation degree apprenticeships.”

Charlotte Grayson, an Operating Department Practitioner apprentice at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, chose an apprenticeship as way of learning and earning on the job. “My apprenticeship is really the only way I could further myself at this point in my life, and my learning. Still being employed full time whilst working towards my degree is amazing. It’s been an amazing journey so far learning to scrub in and work alongside the anaesthetists and other mentors.”

Leanne Stevens, Operating Theatre Education Lead at Chesterfield Royal Hospital explains: “The ODP Degree Apprenticeship has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to be able to support and develop our current staff.

Our Bands 2 to 4 staff now have a career development pathway which enables them to both complete a degree funded through the apprenticeship levy and also to gain Band 5 Registered Professional status as an ODP which opens up many more career opportunities for the future.”

Re-skill

Apprenticeships can provide you the opportunity to re-train and secure employment in a completely different sector.

Sally Ann Thornburn, a Level 3 Adult Care Worker apprentice at One to One Support Services, is a great example of this. She previously worked at an insurance company for 30 years in a management role but wanted a new challenge and was keen to develop a career in care.

She said: “Caring for others is such a rewarding vocation; meeting new people and helping them live the lifestyle they want to lead is incredibly satisfying and since I have taken the apprenticeship the opportunities to improve people’s lives has only increased. It’s such a good course, it’s helped me recognise my specialist areas, it’s helped with the more administrative tasks I undertake each day and perhaps most importantly it’s helped me spot potential challenges my clients face quickly and enabled me to resolve them effectively.

I would recommend the Level 3 apprenticeship to anyone who is looking to progress their career in the care sector- it really does enhance your knowledge bank about the services that you are expected to provide your clients on a day to day basis.”

Diverse range of jobs 

In healthcare there are a diverse range of jobs to choose from with lots of apprenticeship pathways to support training in the numerous fields of work.

Annabelle Martin, is a business administration apprentice and junior PA at DHU Health Care completing a Level 4 apprenticeship with Learning Unlimited. She said: “I have been surprised by the variety of tasks that I do as part of my apprenticeship. I actually have a lot more responsibility than I was expecting and I work on some interesting projects.

After I finished my A Levels I was planning to go to university but I decided that it wasn’t the route for me. I didn’t know about university-level apprenticeships at the time but I am really happy that I have the opportunity to study this way and I am looking forward to developing my career with DHU.”

Careers that Care Week

Derbyshire Voluntary Action, The University of Derby and Joined Up Careers have joined forces to deliver Careers that Care Week, an event which aims to showcase careers in health and social care.

Careers that Care takes place from 21st – 25th June; access to videos, online events, and information about starting your future career in care will be available.  Featured careers include radiography, podiatry and disability support, so if you have ever wondered what these roles involve  (or if you have never heard of them and you are curious!) you can watch an interview and see a range of professionals doing their jobs. You can also sign up to Q&A sessions to ask your own questions about the featured careers.

The online hub will also have advice about how to get started in your chosen career – including information about going to university, apprenticeships, volunteering, and current schemes which are available to help you progress. More information and booking for the event can be found on the Careers that Care website.

Overall, if you are looking for a change in career then an apprenticeship in healthcare might be for you and there is more choice than you might first have thought.

More about this sector can be found on the My Future careers platform and further information on apprenticeships can be found on the Apprentice Town website.

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Free Chesterfield cancer treatment transport service launched

A new transport service has been launched to provide people from Chesterfield with free, safe travel to Sheffield hospitals for cancer treatment.

The service has been launched by regional charity Weston Park Cancer Charity and will operate twice daily from Monday to Friday, between The University of Derby’s St Helena Campus in Chesterfield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

The Weston Park Cancer Charity Transport Service could save hundreds of pounds in travel costs each week for people in Chesterfield and the surrounding areas who are living with cancer.

Around 20 per cent of patients at Weston Park Cancer Centre – one of the four hospitals to which the transport service will provide free travel – are from Chesterfield, the equivalent of more than 3,000 patients at any one time and more than 1,300 each year.

The service will follow strict safety measures to keep volunteer drivers and passengers safe at all times. Drivers will all be tested for Covid-19 twice weekly, with buses cleaned thoroughly before every journey.

The launch of the new Transport Service follows Weston Park Cancer Charity’s takeover of Chesterfield cancer charity, Nenna Kind, in 2020. It marks a ’major step forward’ for Weston Park Cancer Charity in its ‘commitment to care in every sense’ for cancer patients and their families in Chesterfield.

Emma Clarke, director of services and grant-giving at Weston Park Cancer Charity said: “Our Transport Service will ensure that people facing cancer will not also have to worry about accessing treatment at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals – and will be able to focus on what’s important.

“A cancer diagnosis is a difficult thing for anyone to hear. But imagine that the recommended treatment is miles away from your home and you have no ability to make that journey. We don’t want anyone to ever have to face the decision to decline treatment because travel to and from their appointments is the barrier.

“The backing of our wonderful supporters enables us to fund this service in its entirety, meaning it’s free of charge for patients.

“It marks a major step forward for us as we look to build on Nenna Kind’s legacy, and to continue our commitment to care in every sense for cancer patients and their families in Chesterfield and the surrounding areas.”

Sheree Hall, Macmillan lead cancer nurse at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, said: “There is enough stress as there is with cancer – going through diagnosis and treatment is one thing, but somebody shouldn’t have to worry about how to get to their treatment in the first place.

“It may appear strange that somebody simply wouldn’t have treatment just because of transport issues, but that does happen. During lockdown, we’ve had a few cases in which individuals have had to contact us because they have no other means of getting to their appointment and simply no money to pay for taxis – and due to Covid-19 there wasn’t even the facility to travel how they might have done before.

“The new Transport Service means a lot and for some people it can be the difference between whether they could have their treatment or not.”

Alison Gibson, community development worker at Community Chesterfield who helped facilitate the scheme, said: “At Community Chesterfield we pride ourselves on connecting the region’s voluntary, community and charitable sectors both with the University of Derby and with one another, opening up opportunities for them to work together to create positive impact in the area.

“After a discussion with one of Weston Park Cancer Charity’s volunteers about the benefits that a transport service of this nature would bring, we are absolutely delighted to help facilitate this vital scheme from our offices at the St Helena Campus. It will without doubt be a huge help to residents of Chesterfield who need to travel to Weston Park to undergo cancer treatment and will hopefully go some way to making their lives during an incredibly challenging time that bit easier.”

Dr Paula Holt MBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care at the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted to be able to support Weston Park Cancer Charity and, in particular, residents of the Chesterfield area who depend upon this vital service.

“This once again demonstrates the value of our partnership with CommUNIty Chesterfield, who have connected us with the hospital charity.

“The University of Derby is proud to engage with the voluntary sector in the town to deliver projects and services which can make such an important and positive difference to people’s lives.

“In this instance, being able to utilise the current capacity at the St Helena Campus provides a solution to the needs of patients who are travelling to Sheffield to receive treatment.”

For more information or for bookings, call Weston Park Cancer Charity’s helpline 0114 553 3330 (option two) or email transport@wpcancercharity.org.uk.

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New multi-million pound build set to transform emergency care in North Derbyshire

A multi-million pound development at Chesterfield Royal Hospital is set to transform the face of emergency and urgent care for more than 420,000 people who live in the town and across North Derbyshire.

At an expected cost of around £26 million, the ambitious scheme will create a new Urgent and Emergency Department Care Department – at the front of the hospital site where an existing staff car park is sited. With enabling works due to start immediately, the build itself will get off the ground in early summer – and doors are expected to open to patients at the beginning of 2023.

The desire to reinvent emergency services at the Royal has long been under debate. In 2019, after years of discussion with NHS bodies, staff, patients and public engagement, agreement was initially reached on a way-forward that effectively re-designed the existing Emergency Department (and its adjacent areas) to the tune of around £19 million. This four to five-year project would have been carried out in a number of complicated stages, to fit around the continuation of patient care and service provision.

Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer at the hospital, Berenice Groves is leading the revised project and explains the change of plan:

“The COVID-19 pandemic stopped our original proposal in its tracks, but it’s given us an opportunity to step-back and re-examine this important development, to make sure we really have ‘got it right’,” she comments.

“In the space of a year, like other hospitals across the country, we have had to work smarter. The pandemic has hastened improvements to our care processes and pathways and it’s become clear, over the last few months, that a new Urgent and Emergency Department Care Department build, outside the confines of the existing available space, offers a better solution in a shorter time-frame. Whilst on paper it might add up to a bigger financial commitment, the additional investment enables an even better environment for our patients to receive the care they need and more improvements to the workplace for our staff. Crucially, it future-proofs emergency and urgent care for everyone and provides much-needed sustainability.”

The latest architect’s plans are still being finalised, but the layout of this new and preferred option will still bring emergency, urgent and primary care services together in one space, although within defined areas. The aim is to get people where they need to be as quickly as possible, so they can be seen by the right clinical expert – whether they need treatment for a minor injury, emergency care for a serious accident, critical care for a life-threatening condition, or medical support for a long-term illness that’s causing concern. For staff, facilities will include changing areas, a staff rest room, office accommodation and an area for training. Throughout the pandemic we’ve learned just how critical these amenities are for staff to take a well-earned break and to continue their education.

The development also encompasses designated zones to care for children and those with a mental health need, as well as allowing for more in-depth assessment of patients who may require additional, but immediate support from other professionals, including therapists, voluntary and social services. There’ll also be improved access to nearby x-ray and imaging services to reduce the length of time patients spend in the department.

The transformation doesn’t stop there. As part of the project a paediatric assessment unit (PAU) will also be constructed, alongside the Royal’s Nightingale Children’s Unit. This additional aspect of the scheme will ensure babies, children and young people with acute illness or injury are assessed, investigated, observed and treated with an expectation of discharge home in 12 hours or less.

Over the next few weeks and months, a number of smaller projects will be carried out that will help the larger scheme to ‘get going’. These include works within the grounds and gardens to prepare the site, as well as other refurbishments within the existing hospital building. At the end of last year, to get ready for an earlier opening date for the Urgent and Emergency Care Department, the Trust opted to finance a pharmacy within its main entrance – which is already giving people easier access to over-the-counter and prescription medications, as well as advice from pharmacy specialists.

Dr Katherine Lendrum, Consultant in Emergency Care – and the Emergency Department’s Clinical Lead – is delighted to see progress taking place. She and the ED team have had input into the new plans and will be involved at every stage of the building programme. Commenting on the decision to adopt a new-build approach she says: “This will make such a difference and the team is incredibly excited to see the revised plans unfold. It’s absolutely the right decision for our patients and our staff. We have an opportunity to apply what we’ve learned throughout the pandemic, to cement the partnerships we’ve developed and to strengthen new ways of working that ensure our patients’ experience is a good one.

“Whatever level of care you need you will immediately be in the right place when you arrive at the door. Then it’s our job to assess you and make sure you see the right expert in the right part of our Emergency or Urgent Care Department as quickly as possible. This could be a GP, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Therapist or Consultant, but it will be someone with the skills and expertise that you require.”

Over the coming months staff, patients, the public – and other interested parties – will be able to share in the new development as it gets underway, through a series of on-line information events that build on previous engagement and involvement. These will include opportunities to view the plans and a ‘fly-through’ of the new building – to get an idea of what you’d experience as a patient. Financed by the NHS England and Improvement (through the Department of Health) and the Trust, this exciting scheme is one of the biggest recently seen on the Chesterfield Royal Hospital site and will revolutionise this aspect of hospital services that were first opened in 1984.

Baby Box

 

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