MP opens new training centre for community carers
Optimum Inspire College
Jim Shannon MP was delighted to open the newly refurbished Optimum Inspire College in Newtownards on Monday 26th September.
Local Homecare provider Optimum Care recently renovated, and rebranded their training facilities for their community care staff. The newly launched Optimum Inspire College located in Newtownards is one of three training centres in Northern Ireland, with the other two in Belfast and Coleraine. Over 600 community care staff pass through these centres each year both starting their journeys in care and continuing to update and refine their health and social care skills. Assisting their sister company, MD Healthcare, the training facilities are also used to train care home staff and overseas recruits totalling approximately 1,000 staff members.
Jim Shannon MP as spokesperson for the DUP on Health was invited to open the Optimum Inspire College to learn of the investments being made within care staff.
Heather Murray, Group Quality and Development Manager commented, “It is important to us to support our staff and invest in not only our own business future, but the individual futures of our staff too. In turn, they too invest themselves into providing care to people who need it most in our communities.”
Also in attendance to the opening was Stephen Mowat and Hannah Duffin from Rutledge Group who have been working with Optimum Care for over ten years, providing carers with further education opportunities. These education opportunities allow care staff to study for a health and social care qualification whilst continuing to work as a carer in the community.
Joanne Patterson from The Open College Network Northern Ireland (OCN NI) was also in attendance to this event. OCN NI are one of the largest Awarding Organisations in Northern Ireland, with over 360,000 registered learners throughout their history. The Optimum Inspire College are currently developing a partnership with the OCN NI to have the mandatory training all carers complete endorsed by the OCN NI. This will allow carers the opportunity to transfer these skills they learn towards a recognised qualification.
Heather commented further, “This is an ongoing journey for us and our staff that we hope will allow us all to flourish and prosper, and most importantly, do what we do best, care.”
Optimum Care Rapid Response service facilitates 4,461 discharges from local hospitals Optimum Care Photo left to right: Melanie McKeown, Advanced Community Care Worker, Alex McIntyre,