Jon Restell's piece reminding us that good healthcare is delivered by teams is timely here in East Lancashire, writes Ann-Marie Coyne

We have just seen the transition of our healthcare support worker programme from local bespoke training package to national customised award with the accrediting body NCFE. We have now developed the appropriate support and training materials to enable the programme to be made available regionally and, potentially, on a national basis

We recognise that the role of support workers is increasingly important in healthcare, and particularly in primary care, as we strive to provide more clinically and cost-effective services to patients.

This award has been produced to provide professional development for staff moving into clinical support roles in various settings in primary and community care. Such staff need to be competent practitioners who understand the potential for, and the limits of, their role and their place within the healthcare team. This programme enables both learner and employer to meet the standards of current and future safe clinical practice.

The learners who undertake this award will be able to fulfil their potential and to offer a demonstrable skill base to support their health professional colleagues.

Ann-Marie Coyne, associate director of development, Blackburn with Darwen teaching PCT