Naomi Wilson - Support Worker Development Lead

Meet Naomi, a Support Worker Development Lead at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS). Here, Naomi shares her career journey in the NHS

 Naomi Wilson

How did you start your career in the NHS?

I initially began my career at UHS as a domestic, working for SERCO (subcontracted by UHS), I was in this role for 1 year before becoming a healthcare support worker (HCSW) at the trust.

How did you develop your career in the NHS?

I worked as a HCSW within critical care for 5 years and during this period I was supported to complete my foundation degree at Solent University (2-year programme). Successful completion of this programme enabled me to apply for a band 4 associate practitioner role within critical care. I worked in this role for around a year when unfortunately, I sustained a serious spinal injury. I was very fortunate that as an organisation, UHS were extremely supportive and as part of my phased return to work following a period of sickness absence, I was able to spend some time with the education team and see if this was a route I wanted to pursue. I thoroughly enjoyed this time and with the support of my matron, I was successful at interview for a Band 5 facilitator role. My responsibilities within this role included: delivering training for the level 3 apprentice students and administration of care certificates as well as assisting with the teaching of clinical skills to both trust staff and medical students.

After working in this role for 3 years I was able to progress into a band 5 programme lead for quality assurance and apprenticeship position, within which I was responsible for the planning, delivery, and evaluation of the level 3 senior healthcare support worker apprenticeship. It was my role to internally quality assure the standard of all work submitted. As of July 2022, I am now in a new band 7 position in my organisation: working as the support worker development lead.

How were you supported to get to where you are today?

Throughout the 11 years I have worked for the NHS I have received immense support from a multitude of people - I have been fortunate to have supportive managers in my varying roles and support from the education teams. I have also been supported to attend many development opportunities such as the Foundation Degree and I am currently completing my chartered management degree apprenticeship (Level 6).

Tell us about your current role…

My current role is a new role within the Trust that was developed as a result of the NHS England HCSW recruitment and retention project. My main roles and responsibilities are to lead on:

  • The development and delivery of clinical support staff education including (but not exclusively) HCSW induction, senior HCSW level 3 apprenticeship, ongoing learning, and development for support workers.

  • The management of the UHS apprenticeship centre, including links to Ofsted and Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

  • Trust wide statutory and mandatory training requirements

  • I provide line management to the Skills for Practice (SfP) staff and deputise for the Head of Education, including attendance at Trust, regional and national meetings and forums as required.

What do you love most about your job?

I love that I am now able through my role to support HCSW's in our trust, from recruitment and induction right through to supporting their development.

What challenges did you experience along the way?

The main challenges I have encountered are ones that are not exclusive to my role or organisation and that is surrounding staffing and funding. My first role as a manager was during Covid-19 and this was very challenging - I was new to management and this was a period of increased stress and pressure.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of a career in the NHS?

The NHS is an organisation that will support you to develop and reach for things you did not think you could possibly do!

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