Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

SAVE ITEM
case-study

25 / 04 / 2013

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust supporting work experience and providing employment opportunities for local people.

The organisation

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest hospital trusts in the country. The organisation employs over 12,500 staff, has a turnover of over £1.1 billion, and treats around 1.6 million patients each year. The trust comprises two of London’s longest established teaching hospitals that continue to be at the forefront of medical progress and innovation. 

Overview

Lambeth and Southwark are two of the most deprived boroughs in England with high rates of unemployment compared to the national average. Guy’s and St Thomas’ has an established record of supporting work experience and providing employment opportunities for local people. In addition, the trust aims to encourage local students to consider a career in the NHS.

The trust has a role to play in providing opportunities that help people to enter education or find work and is also committed to supporting the training and development needs of existing employees.  Over the past five years this has seen a number of initiatives and successes:

  1. Since 2008, the trust has hosted over 800 students on a range of clinical work experience opportunities.  In that time more than 350 people from the local community have also benefited from a non-clinical work placement at Guy's and St Thomas'.  Of this number, around half were long-term unemployed, and many have since gone on to secure paid employment within the trust.
  2. Since 2010, Guy's and St Thomas' have worked in partnership with Care Trade to establish The Autism Project (TAP), a work placement programme aimed at supporting people with Autism to gain the skills and qualifications necessary to find work. As part of this project, the trust has hosted numerous work experience placements, which have also provided existing staff with the opportunity to develop leadership skills.
  3. In recent years, Guys and St Thomas' have worked with The Princes Trust to provide work placements to young people via the ‘Get Into’ programme.  The trust has now provided 50 placements to young people via this scheme, with over half of these individuals going on to secure paid employment within the trust.
  4. Working in partnership with South Bank Employers Group and Jobcentre Plus, Guy's and St Thomas' have run award winning recruitment campaigns targeted at getting local people into work. To date, over 600 people from the local community have applied for roles and around 400 of these have been selected for interview and assessment.
  5. The trust is committed to creating stronger links and better engaging with the community it serves.  Each year the Work Placement Co-ordinator attends a number of school or community-based careers fairs alongside other colleagues from the trust to highlight the range of careers available within the NHS. 
  6. The Hands Up for Health project is an innovative outreach programme that offers hands-on experiences in true-to-life settings with lifelike manikins that breathe, speak and even sweat. It aims to give young people a real sense of what it's like to work in health and social care - and the experience helps to promote health, science and healthcare careers among local pupils. Young learners in Lambeth and Southwark can discover first hand what life is really like for a modern health professional by joining in at our Simulation and Interactive Learning (SaIL) centre.

Looking Ahead

It has been noted that there is significant variation across different departments within the trust regarding numbers of people taken on work experience. To make a broad and generous offer to local people looking for work, the trust has committed to increasing the number and variety of areas that offer work placements.

The hospital is committed to implementing an exciting Clinical Insight programme, which aims to give young people from the local community, who are considering a career in one of the healthcare professions, an insight into what the job entails.  The trust aims to open its doors to budding doctors, nurses and midwives, and provide invaluable work experience opportunities.

The highly successful Hands Up for Health programme plans to introduce an e-mentoring scheme designed for the wider NHS workforce (including both clinical and non-clinical employees) to support young people in the community.  Schools and youth centres in Lambeth and Southwark typically reflect the high levels of deprivation and social and health inequalities in the area.  The number of 16-24 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEETs) in both boroughs is above London and national averages and the new e-mentoring scheme aims to address these facts in its design and delivery.

Contact details

For more information, contact Joel Ryden, Work Placement Co-ordinator, on 020 7188 8124 or at joel.ryden@gstt.nhs.uk

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