We are an award-winning, vibrant and friendly Trust that provides a wide range of acute hospital and community services to a rural population of over a quarter of a million people.
Situated in the market town of Bury St Edmunds, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is a sought-after place to both live and work, and with access to Cambridge, Norwich, London, the Midlands, and the east coast, cities are within easy reach.
This programme has been created to support care leavers at the start of their journey to a career in NHS/ West Suffolk Foundation Trust. There are four steps to the programme, the care leaver will be placed at the correct step following an interview/informal discussion
Each step will allow the care leaver to access information and gain an insightful experience of working in the NHS with the added support of a mentor throughout the programme.
The WSFT Stepping Stones Programme provides supported entry to West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s opportunities.
These opportunities include:-
- Volunteering Programme
- Health and Care Academy
- Work Experience
- Personal Mentorship
Our Stepping Stones Programme has Four stages of delivery, that will aid you in your development.
Step One: Introduction
The first step will be the induction, this process will take place either by a 1:1 session or within a small group.
In these sessions we will discuss the steps you may wish to take and the goals you want to achieve by taking this programme.
Step Two: Skill Development Sessions
The second step will be the opportunity to attend some bitesize sessions. Each facilitated session will last approximately 1 hour.
These sessions will include:
- Application skills
- Interview skills
- Working in the NHS
- 1-1 discussions with professionals
Step Three: Insight Opportunities & Clinical Shadowing
Our Health Ambassadors will assist you to make informed choices about the range of job roles within the NHS and social care.
Our Health Ambassadors can give an insight into lots of different careers in the NHS. This can be in the form of a 1:1 discussion or chat and tour of the department.
Clinical Shadowing Experience Placements
Clinical shadowing placements are available to anyone with an interest in healthcare over the age of 16, in sixth form, college or post graduate education. For one- or two-days, you can observe doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in their day-to-day setting.
This will not involve any ‘hand-on’ care but will give the you an opportunity to see the professional within the work environment, meet members of the multi- disciplinary team and ask any questions that you may have.
Step Four: Volunteer programme, Health and Care Academy and Further opportunities
In Step Four you will be able to access a variety of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust initiatives as detailed below.
Young Persons Volunteer Programme
Our volunteer programme is an excellent opportunity for sixth form and college students and young people to regularly volunteer on a busy ward helping ward staff and patients at mealtimes. This is especially useful for anyone considering a career in healthcare or hoping to study medicine at university.
We offer approximately 30 placements a year, with applications open in January for placements within that same year.
The volunteers will be committed to 50 hours (at least a two-hour session once a week, for up to six months), normally this runs from June to December. This allows for volunteers to become a valuable member of the ward team, giving them an immersive and rewarding volunteer experience.
Health and Care Academy
The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust Health and Care Academy offers a virtual course across six weeks on Saturday mornings. These sessions are for those who would like to gain an insight into working in health and care. Delivered by the WSFT, the aim of this series of free virtual sessions is to encourage and inspire young people thinking about a career in health and care to take the next step.
This six-session academy course is delivered virtually via Microsoft Teams, it will include insight sessions into careers within midwifery, medicine, nursing, physiotherapy and primary care. It will also include, information on the key skills required to working in health and care as well as advice on CV and personal statement writing.
This programme is the first step in accessing information about working in the health and care sector and the range of careers available. Health and care ambassadors will lead the programme and participants will get a chance to ask any questions. On completion of the short course, participants will be provided with support in accessing their next steps and are also awarded a certificate of participation which will look great on CVs and will help at future interviews.
A small number of non-clinical work experience placements can be offered each year. Placements are offered in non-clinical departments, e.g. Human Resources, IT, Communications, Finance, Medical Library, Estates and Facilities and Moving and Handling.Non-clinical roles are those which do not provide any type of medical treatment or testing. Some non-clinical workers do interact with patients but do not actually provide medical care.
We will offer sessions with a mentor to support you throughout the programme.