As a Registered Nurse who is passionate about the quality standards in the care sector, it had long been my ambition to open a training academy to facilitate training for health and social care workers of all grades with a view to enhancing their caring skills.

The importance of building and maintaining top quality skills in the care sector cannot be overstated. There are approximately a million and a half people in the adult social care workforce in England alone! There also continue to be a shortage of workers within health and social care, with a clear need for more properly trained staff to become part of this essential workforce. It's also a fact that organisations with well-trained and motivated personnel suffer far less with staff turnover and poor morale.

I therefore knew that there was a direct and urgent need to provide a training academy that could help to fulfil such requirements.  

How did we go from identifying this need to opening our Academy?

In October 2021 the building below our offices- formerly a motor parts shop- became available for rent.  At this time it was in a very poor state of repair.  My vision was to open a training facility with all the equipment needed to teach basic caring skills as well as advanced skills and Instructor courses.  We knew then that this would be a considerable challenge – but equally we were committed to establishing the Academy, knowing how beneficial and vital it would be once it was set up.

We set ourselves the target date of January 1st 2022 as the opening date, and work began.

First we had to thoroughly clean the space because there was years’ worth of dirt and grime ground into the floor and walls. All the electrics needed to be replaced and new alarms fitted as well as windows and doors and new toilet, sinks and water heaters plumbed in. Aside from that, the whole area also needed to be decorated appropriately. Although it was a challenge to find tradespeople who were available to do the jobs by the target date we had set, everyone pulled together, and the result is amazing. The ACI Care Training Academy is up and running providing excellent quality training to health and social care workers and establishments.

I have also set up a small museum display of Red Cross and St John’s artefacts and medical memorabilia from WW2 which I have been collecting for several years to show case how nursing has changed but how, equally, some things remain the same i.e showing care and compassion, preserving dignity and promoting independence. Technically speaking things are very different to how they were, but the principles of nursing remain broadly unchanged.

Up and Running!

We have trained several people in phlebotomy, first aid, understanding epilepsy and how to administer buccolam midazolam.  We have also run two people handling instructor courses.  We have lots more planned for the rest of the year, so things are only going to get busier!

Well Equipped

The facility is already extremely well equipped- for example, we have:

  • 3 sinks to practice handwashing on our infection control courses
  • A medicine trolley for the administration of medication courses
  • A hospital bed
  • A mobile hoist with spreader bar, a standing hoist and wheelchair
  • Several small handling aids including slide sheets, handling belts, hand blocks, turntables and transfer boards
  • Phlebotomy training arms
  • Immunisation/vaccination training arms
  • Sensory loss equipment to demonstrate how it feels to have sensory loss
Students using the special eyewear to mimic sensory loss for a communication exercise