Project SEARCH, Royal United Hospitals Bath
The Royal United Hospital (RUH) was one of the first hospitals to adopt the Project SEARCH supported internship programme in the UK. In this video, Avril Mendel (Associate, NDTi) interviews Simon Andrews (Divisional Director of Nursing for Surgery, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust).
Simon Andrews had his first intern working with him and his team over 10 years ago and is now the clinical lead for RUH employees with a learning disability or autism. In 2011 he was the Trauma and Orthopaedics Senior Charge Nurse and worked with Human Resources to make the changes necessary for a new Patient Support Assistant post designed around an intern's identified contribution. An accessible Band 2 job description was written; the interview process was changed to allow working and recorded interviews; and applicants were allowed to bring a job coach with them to the interview. Simon has continued with this work and now to date the RUH has employed 40 interns as full-time, paid staff as well as eight others in part-time and bank positions.
Avril Mendel is a professionally qualified commissioner, planner and manager of services with experience of supported employment, community development, project management, planning and development, and grant bidding within the statutory and voluntary sector.