Education department celebrates exam success

Posted: 24/01/20

The education team that helps patients in secure services is celebrating another successful year.

The education service, which is part of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), helps patients achieve success in functional skills.

Now in its fifth year, the service runs a range of voluntary courses for service users, from English and Maths, to online basics, economic wellbeing and financial capability, and skills for employment.

Ran by a dedicated team of four, the department offers both accredited and non-accredited qualifications, helping service users gain skills and knowledge that will prepare them for returning back into the community.

In 2019 the overall success rate was 95%, with 97% of service users saying they could clearly see their progress during their course and 94% agreeing their skills had improved.

Helen Sonnenfeld, Specialist Teacher and Education Lead at CNTW, said: “We are thrilled with these exam results which are down to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved.

“The students have proven their thirst for knowledge and feedback has been extremely positive. The courses provide service users with opportunities after they have moved on from the service, instilling a sense of independence and routine and providing them with a purpose.”

The courses, based predominantly at Bamburgh Clinic and Northgate Hospital, don’t have a time frame, allowing students to complete them at their own pace.

With both group and one-to-one sessions, the courses are tailored to each individual and their needs. There is also the option for distance learning for those with access to an email account.

Lynn Williams, Recovery and Engagement Lead for Secure Care Services at CNTW, said: “The department allows service users to improve skills or learn new ones in a safe, supportive and caring environment.

“The education team work really hard to ensure service users will go out into the community well-equipped with the skills and knowledge they need and the exam results are a testament to that.”

Bamburgh Clinic and Northgate Hospital are both part of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), a provider of mental health and learning disability services.

Based in Gosforth and Morpeth respectively, the two sites are part of the Trust’s secure care services.

Bamburgh Clinic provides assessment and treatment for men who have a mental illness or personality disorder and Northgate Hospital provides assessment and treatment for men with a learning disability as well as a male mental health low secure unit. Both sites care for men who have come into conflict with the law and/ or are thought to be a risk to others or themselves.