A NEW academy has been launched to strengthen workforce plan ambitions at Shropshire's acute hospitals.

The Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital Trust, which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford has launched its theatres academy to ensure there is an NHS career choice in the theatres department for those who have had no formal training.

The academy will provide a blend of face-to-face learning, hands-on demonstration, practical assessments and e-learning, a spokesperson for the hospital trust said.

Alison Mattey, matron for theatres, said: “After years of struggling to recruit experienced theatre staff, we decided to focus more on staff development and ‘growing our own’ within the department.

“The evidence-based training we offer is delivered by our very own professional development team, which supports a smooth transition into the clinical setting.

“Our ethos is to ‘build outstanding theatre teams’ and the in-house Academy is already playing an important role in helping us achieve this ambition.”

Amanda Hollands, an associate practitioner from the first cohort, said: “The Theatres Academy provides an excellent introduction to working within the theatre environment, whether you are a qualified professional or just starting out.

“The course takes you through a patient’s journey within theatres and you are given opportunities to get ‘hands on’ in a variety of simulated sessions.”

Rhia Boyode, director of people and organisational development, said: “This is a great example of clinical supports services commitment to the NHS People promise ‘Growing for the future’.

"New ways of working and delivering care initiatives such as these help us to deliver on our vision to provide excellent care for the communities we serve.”