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NHS Learning Accounts (NHS LA)

Continuing investment in Life Long Learning for NHS Staff

NHS employer organisations, supported by workforce development directorates of SHA, have over the last 3 years invested in the skills and knowledge development of those staff that do not have a professional qualification. This investment has continued and expanded as demand increases.

All learning and training funded through NHS LA are agreed within the context of a Personal Development Plan (PDP) and an individualís current and future development needs.

In the West Suffolk Hospital Trust each year has seen an increase in the number of staff taking up the opportunities to develop and fulfil their potential through learning. This development is key to meeting patientís needs, increasing the quality of care, supporting clinical governance and modernising NHS services as well as helping individuals expand their horizons through life long learning.

In 2004 approximately 300 individuals have taken up a learning account to fund a learning programme, training course or to pay for books as part of their learning requirements. Sixty individuals have accessed NVQ training at Levels 2 & 3. A proportion has gone on to further education or professional training and others have successfully applied for enhanced roles within the Trust.

ďI feel far more confident and relaxed about doing some academic study now. I didnít get many qualifications at school and studying now at my age seemed impossible! My ideas on that have changed since doing this courseĒ

(Member of staff accessing a study skills course using LA funding)

2004/05 also found staff wanting to develop literacy and numeracy skills as a first step on the skills escalator. The Trust offer facilities for staff to sit the National Test in numeracy or literacy at Level 1 & 2.

An added benefit of the instigation of NHS learning Accounts is the excellent communication links and partnership working that has developed with training providers and other NHS organisations giving access to a wide range of good, cost effective learning for individuals.

See also:

DOH website - Learning and Personal Development

DOH website - Individual Learning Account FAQ