UK-based National Skills Academy for Health (NSA), along with University Hospitals Southampton Trust, have secured a £1.9m grant from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (DBIS) to create a network of centres in the country.

The employer-led regional centres will serve as hubs for the facilitation of learning and development for healthcare support workers.

National Skills Academy for Health director Candace Miller said: "We’re delighted to have been awarded investment funding for such a unique "on-the-ground" project, which will make a real difference to the quality of training that can be accessed regionally for healthcare support workers."

The investment will be used to develop an initial network of six NSA health excellence centres, which will bring together like-minded healthcare businesses across the region.

"Each centre will include a healthcare provider, and its services will be supported by a centre coordinator."

Each centre will include a healthcare provider, and its services will be supported by a centre coordinator. It will design and provide new learning resources for healthcare support staff, share training expertise and use skills development facilities.

NSA excellence centres will assist health care organisations by offering a central hub for employers and learners to access quality relevant training. The centres offer training events for support workers of all healthcare organisations within the region, and manages eLearning developments.

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The NSA is part of the Skills for Health group, the authority on strategic workforce development and skills, licenced by the DBIS as the UK Sector Skills Council for Health.

Skills for Health chief executive John Rogers said: "The NSA Health should be applauded for its ambition to lay down strong foundations in regional health care communities and ensure that practical improvements on skills development can be delivered through making best use of local resources."