29 / 9 / 2015 5.05pm
Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust was the pilot site in the UK for Project SEARCH. The Trust partnered with Fosseway School and Sirona to offer people with learning disabilities three, ten to twelve week rotations. Through these rotations, students can be placed into different roles to discover which one they are best suited for.
The programme has been running annually for 6 years and there have been a total of 52 students who have completed the programme. From those 52 students, 24 are currently employed at Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust with 40 job outcomes so far.
There is a large variety of rotations available including: patient support working, clerical, health care assistant, sterile services technician, cleaner, pharmacy porter, pathology lab assistant, car park assistant and catering assistant.
The Trust has continued to support the programme due to the positive impact on the students as well as employees of the Trust.
How they do it?
- Formed a partnership between Fosseway School and Sirona.
- Finding people within the organisation who would like to work with people with learning disabilities as a starting point.
- Word of mouth and networking has been a key aspect in disseminating information.
- One year internship model, where applicants work in three different departments.
- The internship partnership will provide on-going support to all their young people and employer throughout their time on placement and when in a paid job.
- Job coaches cover student’s needs, which is particularly important when changing placements and at the beginning of each cycle.
- Interns return to an on-site classroom to assess their day and learn communication, problem solving and job skills.
- A job coach accompanies interns on each rotation ensuring they feel comfortable with their role and confident enough to be left independently.