Image: Logo Quality Mark.NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Addiction Services Prevention and Service Support Team has achieved the Skills for Health Quality Mark for its Alcohol and Substance Abuse Awareness and Prevention programmes of learning.

The team of 10 designs, delivers and co-ordinates a range of courses through its Ayrshire Addiction Training Calendar, which is aimed at all staff within NHS, Local Authority and third sector who are working with people who are affected by alcohol and drug issues.

The challenge

The team applied to Skills for Health’s pilot Quality Mark scheme to gain this recognised qualification so that they could demonstrate the high quality of their work. They hoped to encourage employers to use their services, therefore allowing more patients to benefit from their expertise.

The Skills for Health Quality Mark is delivered through the National Skills Academy for Health. It provides a framework for defining and endorsing high standards of learning and training, enabling healthcare employers to benefit from a world-class workforce.

Image: Addiction medication.

How they did it

The Quality Mark assessment process focused on best practice, and included on-site visits, teaching observations, interviews with trainers, learners and employers and evaluation of documentary evidence.

The Skills for Health assessor looked at four areas: appropriate ethics and values; health sector engagement awareness to ensure that provision meets employer and health sector learning needs and adds value to the patient/service user experience; learning excellence; and effective Quality Assurance arrangements which include commitment to continuous improvement.

The outcomes

  • The Quality Mark was achieved, and although it is not yet widely recognised in Scotland, the Addiction Services team are confident that it will encourage employers to use their services
  • By going through the assessment process, the team were able to identify the positive aspects of what they were already doing, as well as reveal areas which would benefit from development
  • Learners on Addiction Services Prevention and Service Support courses will receive high quality training which will ultimately benefit their patients.

The Prevention and Service Support team already had much of the paperwork in place, because they collect evidence about their work as an ongoing practice, and they were able to resolve queries and issues through dialogue with their Skills for Health assessor.

The team found that the biggest challenge was to schedule the assessor’s on-site visit to ensure that the relevant courses were all able to take place on the same day.

“The process was quite simple and selfexplanatory, and not something to be afraid of! Our assessor supported us through the process and was always available to answer queries.

‘We’d recommend it to anyone who wants to encourage others to use their services, as it demonstrates commitment to high standards.”

Adelle Still
Addictions Education & Prevention Specialist, NHS Ayrshire & Arran

Download case study (PDF)

Related pages