AFG – ‘a different route for mental health nursing’

AFG had a great response at the prestigious Royal College of Nursing Jobs fair and Careers Event at Old Trafford, Manchester.

A team from AFG’s independent hospitals, including Registered and Ward Managers, a Senior Nurse Practitioner and an Occupational Therapist were on-hand to bring AFG’s services to life.

AFG Talent and Attraction Lead Alison Clarke said: “We talked to nurses at all stages of their careers ranging from third year students looking for their preceptorship to seasoned nurses working in high-pressured forensic and psychiatric intensive care units.”

“We operate small independent hospitals throughout the North West and are able to offer a different route for mental health nursing. Our therapeutic approach takes patients into a more independent phase of their recovery, with the aim of leaving AFG and going into the wider community. Our charity status appealed to many who were currently in the private sector whilst our independence got a thumbs up from many in the NHS.”

“Values-based recruitment for support workers was a revelation for many of the people whom we spoke to. One visitor to the AFG stand said that it was refreshing that a company saw past someone’s experience and to the actual person themselves. AFG sounded like somewhere they could see themselves working.”

Hearing about a typical day at AFG’s Weaver Lodge independent Hospital in Winsford, Cheshire, a forensic nurse said it sounded like a perfect place for her to move her career: “I can already feel the calm environment washing over me. I need that”.

A student nurse, currently at Salford University, said that the small teams at AFG appealed to her rather than a bigger preceptorship programme in the NHS: “I want a more personal approach to my preceptorship. To be part of a family and not just another nurse going through the machine. I love the idea of being a casual support worker there while I finish my studies so I can get to know everyone and the patients first.”

Alison added: “Following the event, we’ll be contacting more than 100 people who showed interest in different opportunities with AFG – from casual support workers and preceptor nurses to experienced RMNs. We’re excited to have more in-depth discussions around how AFG can support their career choices and make a difference to the lives of the patients we are supporting on the next stage of their recovery.”

Thanks are due to the following AFG colleagues for making it such a successful event: Imogen Naz (Ward Manager at Honeysuckle Lodge), Elaine Denby (Registered Manager at Millbrook independent hospital), Carys Skinner (Occupational Therapist at Weaver Lodge independent hospital), Kate Bithell (Senior Nurse Practitioner at Weaver Lodge), Anna Blake (Recruitment and Talent Manager) and Daniel Newton (Talent and Attraction Coordinator).

With a strong track record of more than 25 years, AFG is one of the UK’s largest health and social care charities, currently supporting around 1,200 people across the NW and employing more than 2,500 staff.

AFG works locally in the community and through its independent hospitals to provide a wide range of innovative and bespoke care services, delivering life-enhancing person centred support to people with a diverse range of care needs. Throughout its services, AFG focuses on personalised support, tailoring services to the needs and aspirations of everyone – supporting them to lead the lives they want as active citizens in their communities.