Meet the Apprentice: Chelsea – Derbyshire Community Health Services
Meet the Apprentice: Chelsea, DCHS – NHS Foundation Trust
What Apprenticeship are you studying?
I am currently at the end point of completing the Improvement Practitioner Green Belt Qualification that looks at how Lean and Six Sigma can be used to make improvements.
How did you get on your Improvement Practitioner Green Belt Apprenticeship?
I have worked for DCHS for 12 years and have always aspired to progress as much as possible. When joining the IIE team (was the Clinical Effectiveness Team) I wanted to plan my PDP around developing into a higher role in the team. My line manager helped me progress down this path by sourcing apprenticeships available to me and helping me choose one that would tailor to my needs of development.
What is the study model like and what types of things have you been doing in your off-the-job learning?
Alongside my normal working days, I have one protected day where I attend workshops for the apprenticeship, focus on project work and meet with my tutor and the rest of the cohort. Even in redeployment I was still protected one day per week to ensure I could carry on with my apprenticeship. The whole of the course has been virtual on zoom and MS Teams, it has worked well for me as I was shielding when I started the course. It has also removed the travel and time spent commuting, therefore allowing extra time to work on the actual projects and gives more flexibility to studying.
What has been the hardest part of the Apprenticeship programme?
The NHS it is a lot different to other organisations and especially private organisations where their processes can be changed quickly with no hierarchal process to follow. The projects in my role are quality improvement projects that focus less on the time or money saved by an improvement and more on improved patient care or staff improved process. This meant sometimes I found it difficult to use some of the tools in the apprenticeship for my specific project, but I was able to use other historic projects to demonstrate the learning. It was more difficult to relate to a production line process tool/method compared to a service process.
“Take the plunge! It doesn’t matter if you’ve been out of education for 1 year or 10 years. You can progress while learning on the job alongside your normal role. You will have the support and the opportunities to take full advantage of the course. It has only been a positive experience for me, I progressed and developed my skills so much in just a year and even got to interview for my desired progression role before I had even finished the course!”
What has been the best part of the Improvement Practitioner Apprenticeship programme?
Meeting people from other organisations who are also interested in making improvements in their role whether it’s chocolate digestives, car parts or custard! It was great to look at it from outside the NHS point of view and think of it from a business approach with aspects that could be transferred to the health care service.
What do you hope to do next?
I hope to complete my apprenticeship in the next month and make effective quality improvements to the on-going suite of projects that I have been leading during the apprenticeship. I also hope to successfully secure a new role that incorporates everything I have loved doing for the apprenticeship on a full-time basis!
All of us at CQM Training & Consultancy wish Chelsea the best of luck in her End Point Assessment for the Improvement Practitioner (Lean Six Sigma Green Belt) and look forward to hearing her future successes!