Sarita Baxter- Learning & Development Manager - Canford Healthcare

Sarita joined Canford Healthcare in 2022 as a regional trainer and has recently been promoted to head up the training team.

She brings huge experience to the organisation, having been a support worker in a children’s home, an inspector of children’s homes and a regional trainer for a group of residential care homes, teaching staff to look after adults with learning difficulties. She supported 19 different services across the south and London, training in 25 different subjects including autism, epilepsy and diabetes. Over the years, she has taught a wealth of courses within the care sector, including children’s safeguarding, behaviour and train the trainer.

In her new role she is responsible for the training and professional development of staff across our 11 homes and support offices. She works with Emma Seamons, head of HR, and the home managers to ensure that training programmes align with the organisation’s objectives, with a clear correlation between training and the quality of resident care.

Sarita’s remit encompasses all areas of training and development including apprenticeships, career pathways and a variety of different types of learning, such as 1:1 coaching or face-to-face group sessions, to take account of people’s preferred learning styles and help them develop to their full potential.

With a keen interest in the IT aspects of training – she once ran an online learning management system (LMS) site for 2000 staff – Sarita also oversees Canford Healthcare’s own LMS. This provides access to a range of virtual courses to sit alongside the delivery of face-to-face material, and also keeps a detailed record of training received and any that’s required.

Sarita’s most immediate priorities are to find a replacement regional trainer who will be a good fit with fellow trainers Sandra Rogers and Roy Langstaffe. She is also keen to build a more person-centred learning programme that is more specific to the residents’ needs.

With a passion for learning herself, Sarita wants to ensure that staff feel excited too. “Training should be enjoyable and not simply a mundane task,” she says. “I want staff to feel that we are supporting and investing in them, offering them programmes that are adaptive to their particular learning styles and carving out career pathways that make them feel that they are achieving the best they can.”

Quality is important, too. So Sarita is working alongside the quality team to ensure that the training is as good as it can be, and that it works. This involves building in ‘observational supervision’ so trainers can see people performing certain clinical tasks in real situations, checking that these are done correctly.

Other initiatives including revamping the induction process to help new staff feel fully supported right from day one. Trainers will also learn new techniques, such as catheter care and venipunctures, so they can pass this knowledge on to our staff, rather than calling in outside trainers. The team is currently working on a new dementia course and upcoming online content includes epilepsy awareness, environmental sustainability and a suite of courses for managers.

Despite her managerial responsibilities Sarita is determined to continue doing at least some training – simply because she loves it so much!

Away from work, Sarita frequently indulges her passion for IT. “I’m a real geek. I love gaming, computers, phones, and technology!” she explains. She also enjoys spending time in the fresh air with her firefighter husband Liam and their children Paul (20) and eleven-year-old Harley-Faith, plus their much-loved bulldog, Buddy.