WORKFORCE: A Midlands hospital is helping to get people back into work after teaming up with the Jobcentre Plus.

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust is working on a pilot project to help people interested in a caring role.

After undergoing an assessment and training at Sandwell College, six people were given the opportunity to get a taste of healthcare by helping out on wards at Sandwell Hospital.

Tasks included making hot and cold drinks for patients and helping to feed them, as well as collecting medication from the hospital pharmacy to give nurses more time on the wards.

The “ward service assistants”, who were identified by the red T-shirts they wore, spent eight weeks helping out on the wards.

Assistant director of nursing Linda Pascall said: “We have really appreciated the support the ward service assistants have given.

“Their positive attitude has made this venture a success and we hope to be able to continue to work with Jobcentre Plus to offer this scheme which has proven to have genuine benefits for our local community.”

The project resulted in two of the participants securing a job.