Helen Whately, who was appointed Minister of State in the Department for Health and Social Care in October last year, was welcomed to the college’s Warrington campus to tour the new facility.
Established with a £1million investment from Warrington’s Town Fund and significant support from key partners, including the council and Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Health and Social Care Academy will upskill those already working in the sector, as well as training the workforce of tomorrow.
As the Minister responsible for adult social care in England, Helen was both interested to see, and very impressed by, the amazing work taking place at the academy and the benefits this will bring to the sector.
Helen, who was also joined by Andy Carter, MP for Warrington South, and other senior guests from the council and the NHS, was particularly enamoured with the independent living flat and the simulation hospital ward – two realistic environments that fully immerse students. Helen had the pleasure of meeting some current level 3 students who shared their experiences so far along with their future career plans.
Helen said: “It was a privilege to meet students at Warrington and Vale Royal College and see them making great use of the new simulation hospital ward and social care flat. These bring the experience of working in health or social care to life.
"Students told me about the placements they’re doing in care homes as well, gaining valuable experience to set them up for fabulous careers in health and social care.”
Amy Yorke, Health and Social Care Academy manager, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Helen and a host of special guests to the academy and show off our wonderful facility and students.”
Cllr Paul Warburton, cabinet member for statutory health and adult social care ,said: “I’m pleased that the Minister was able to see our Health and Social Care Academy going from strength to strength. It was good to showcase this facility and its importance for the development of our future health and social care workforce in Warrington. It is another example of how our successful partnership working across health, care and education is making a difference to improve skills and services for Warrington residents.”
To find out more about the Health and Social Care Academy, please visit wvr.ac.uk/hsca.