Nightingales Army is the vision of two healthcare assistants - or Nightingales as they prefer to be known...
Elizabeth Fox and Felicity Miles, who between them have 28 years’ experience of working within the NHS, in residential and nursing homes and care in the community.
For years now Elizabeth and Felicity, along with many of their colleagues, have witnessed the crisis in social care around recruiting, retaining, recognizing and properly rewarding Healthcare Assistants, where turnover of staff is only exceeded by the hospitality sector, and the standard of care is hampered by the failure to introduce standardized practical ‘hands-on’ accredited training.
In the summer of 2019, seeing the impact the crisis in social care was having on the standards of care being delivered, the low morale among Healthcare Assistants, and how unprepared UK was to meet the future increase in demand for social care from an ageing population, the idea was born to recruit and train an ‘army of future carers’ – and to re-brand them and as the ‘Nightingales’ they truly are!
Who are we?
I am 29 years old, a wife and a mother to two children. Caring has always been in my family. As a child I only wanted ‘doctors kits’ for birthdays and Christmas and would bandage up all my teddys and take care of them. My mother worked with physical and mental disabilities and used to take me to her work when I was younger where I would paint and read books with all the individuals. I have some lovely memories, unfortunately the site is now closed. My sister then became my role model as I grew up, she is a senior care assistant and has completed many duties in her role; I have seen her achieve NVQlvl5 and all of this has inspired me to take the same role. During my time as a health care assistant I have worked in many different placements within the NHS, residential and nursing, and care in the community, and I’ve witnessed various practices throughout. I’ve heard some amazing stories and learnt new things from my time I’ve spent with people, but I have also seen individuals, both staff and service users, not receive the support they deserve. I wanted to change this, change the way health care assistants and those receiving help from one is seen and treated. Luckily, I met a like minded carer who felt the same and together after another long shift we discussed some ideas and in time we designed Nightingales Army. Now we have decided to take this journey together to raise the standard of care.
I am 35 and a mother to my two teenage children. I have currently been a health care assistant for 18 years. I was introduced to care from the time I was born. Growing up, a close family member suffered with their mental health tremendously and from a very young age I found myself being an active carer. Being so young I found this extremely challenging and at the time was totally unaware that this was in fact laying the foundations and preparing me for a life devoted to the care of others. The past 18 years as a healthcare assistant within the NHS and health and social care sector has also come with extreme challenges good and bad, yet my experience has given me so much knowledge, understanding and empathy which has naturally led to me finding my passion in life, something I’m now very grateful for as not all get to find theirs. My career journey has taken me on a path of the hospital, care in the community and various residential and nursing homes. At the time I met Elizabeth I was working in a residential and nursing home, placed on the nursing floor. How refreshing it was to meet someone who shared the same passion as me a work relationship quickly turned into a friendship, and today a creative partnership. Together we started to really question the “standard of care” which opened our eyes to not only the problems we faced daily within our workplace, but within the health care industry as a whole. We then committed ourselves to working on ideas and solutions in our spare time; this grew into Nightingales Army. We now dedicate ourselves to actively raising the standard of care
Together we visualized Nightingales Army to actively raise the standard of care today and we are taking the first steps to turn our vision into reality. We intend to be the umbrella structure that leads health care assistants into the industry correctly by providing modern practical training bringing together a variety of different companies, charities, nurses and health care assistants for realistic discussions and active training. By putting them under one roof to form Nightingales Army, an active training, accreditation and competency monitoring programme that will be provided before they enter their role as a health care assistant. We want to modernise health care assistants and rebrand them as Nightingales as this will take the stigma away from the title of ‘health care assistant’ and the negativity that can be associated with it. This will help create a feeling of community, bringing everyone together as one unit. We will have open discussions in schools and colleges about the realistic job roles available and how students could suit them, show the career path into a senior and nursing associate and provide them with knowledge of what they need to learn in order to progress in their role.
We always love a chat – so why not contact us today!
Nightingales Army - Aims and Values
Built from the knowledge of two health care assistants you can be confident in knowing Nightingales Army is here for you, the carers and health care assistants. To provide you with the knowledge you need to fulfill your role, support a family or friend and get the best from your employer.
Nightingales value is to all those who are a part of the health and social care sector. The public, staff, residents and contributors.
We will Actively raise the standard of care for everyone.
If you or your relative requires the help of a health care professional. Click here, for free impartial advice on what to ask and what to be aware of before accepting care.
If you are interested in a profession in health care and wish to learn about the job role, duties and what it means to be a health care assistant. Click here
If you are a professional in health care and wish to learn more about further education and progression within your job role or a new adventure. Click here
If you are a care provider and wish to know more about how we intend to work with you to actively raise the standard of care. Click here
If you a professional body or group who provide a service to the health and social care sector. Click here to find out how we intend to include your services in our vision. You can find all our current affiliates in this section.
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