Health skills scheme could turn porters into consultants

porter working in the NHS could ultimately progress to become a consultant if
plans to tackle skills shortages and transform HR practices in the health
service become a reality.

was the view of Andrew Foster, the NHS Confederation’s policy director for
human resources, who outlined proposals at the Anuman 2001 conference to try to
overcome chronic skills shortages .

said proposals to recruit an additional 36,000 new NHS staff are part of the 30
per cent rise in NHS spending over the next four years announced by Health
Secretary Alan Milburn.

he stressed that it is difficult to recruit all the extra staff needed in the
short term because of the lengthy training involved.

said one way to solve this problem is through using a skills escalator, which
would enable all staff to receive the necessary training so they can take on
new roles.

Johnston, HR director for the North Bristol NHS Trust, said, "It might be
that porter to consultant is impossible but there are pathways at the moment
where a porter can become a healthcare assistant and through vocational
qualifications train as a nurse and then as a nurse consultant or nurse

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