• LHP Skillnet

by LHP Skillnet

Published On: January 31st, 2024Categories: NewsTags: , ,


  • LHP Skillnet

by LHP Skillnet

Published On: January 31st, 2024Categories: NewsTags: , ,

Leading Healthcare Providers Skillnet (LHP Skillnet) is a is a not-for-profit learning network co-funded by Skillnet Ireland and our member companies. We are the only Network dedicated exclusively to supporting the private healthcare sector. We do this through the provision of high-quality, sector-led, subsidized training and education, research, and programme development.

Increased Network Reach

In pursuit of our goals, expanding our Network is vital. We are delighted to report a 5% growth in Irish private healthcare providers engaging with LHP Skillnet in the past year. Our Network now boasts 461 active member companies, predominantly from the Irish private residential care, home care, acute care, and primary care sectors. We invite and encourage all private healthcare providers who have not yet done so to contact us.

Member Companies & Training Days in 2023
Member Companies +5%
Training Days

We assist our member companies in optimising their training budgets by providing bespoke training opportunities aligned with their specific needs. Our team consistently goes above and beyond to help members achieve and maintain the highest standard of training within their budget. In the past year, LHP Skillnet facilitated a total of 27,028 training days benefiting more than 6,500 learners.

More Training Funded than Ever

The year 2023 marked the highest-ever level of funds spent on training events by LHP Skillnet. Overall, we expended ca. €1,282,000 on our training events, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.

Shirley Mahony is a Network Administrator at LHP Skillnet.

Interest in our healthcare training has been surging, and our members are giving us wonderful feedback. It is encouraging to see the level of investment employers are making towards developing the knowledge and skills of their workforce. The funding that LHP Skillnet provides plays a pivotal role in members’ efforts to support their staff professional development.
— Shirley Mahony, Healthcare Course Coordinator

Funds Spent on Training Events

Healthcare Training on all Levels

LHP Skillnet facilitates a wide range of training programmes to meet a variety of requirements. We organise custom training for our member companies, ranging from in-person classes to live online sessions, offering complete schedule flexibility that suits your needs. Additionally, a range of public courses is available for convenient online booking throughout the year.

Funds Spent on Training Events in 2023 by Category

In addition to LHP Skillnet’s vastly successful QQI Level 5 Healthcare Support Course and our wide range of sought-after workshops in areas such as safeguarding, dining with dignity, and end-of-life care, we have been facilitating a diverse range of successful management training for leaders in healthcare settings, such as private practice managers and Persons in Charge under HIQA regulations.

We have also been building upon our connections to third-level institutes, helping our member companies achieve postgraduate and Master-level qualifications. Read our recently published case study to learn more about out Postgraduate Certificate in IPC in UCC.

Skills Connect

Our Skills Connect Certificate in Healthcare Support is a fully funded education programme that leads to a QQI Level 5 Major Award. It provides the opportunity for jobseekers to develop a QQI Level 5 qualification providing the full qualification required for the role of the Healthcare Assistant in nursing homes, home care, and hospitals. As a validated QQI provider, we are committed to providing quality within our programmes. All our tutors for this programme are nurses with teaching experience.

Programmes in 2023
Unemployed Participants
Eileen Corry

In 2024, we will run 10 Skills Connect Certificate in Healthcare Support programmes throughout the year, hoping to train up to 200 participants. We have begun using Moodle to deliver the course, which provides us with a wide range of new resources and activities to enhance the live sessions and the learning experience including forums, quizzes, assignments, wikis, and multimedia integration. I am very pleased that interest in our Healthcare Support course is increasing, and we have received more applications for 2024 compared with this time last year.
Eileen Corry, QQI Coordinator Skills Connect

Since the Skills Connect Certificate in Healthcare Support was introduced, LHP Skillnet has trained over 1,000 eligible jobseekers, bolstering the Irish workforce in the private healthcare sector and providing those seeking employment with a career path in a high-demand industry.

2023 in Research & Development

LHP Skillnet is committed to supporting workforce development within the private healthcare sector. In 2023, we carried out our first industry insights research piece in which the goal was to to look at perceptions of staff working in the long term care sector of teaching and learning modalities for continuous professional development to inform programme developers, member companies, policy makers & educators. This research was well received internationally due to its focus on the long term care sector in which research in this area is severely lacking. It was presented at conferences internationally and nationally and was published in the Journal of Nurse Education in Practice.

Upcoming Publications

We have also been working on several other research pieces throughout 2023 that are due to be published in the coming months. Our next paper, due to be launched in February, is in partnership with FNM RCSI and the European Centre of Excellence for Research, and explores the Director of Nursing (DON) role within long term care to ascertain what supports can be put in place to retain and attract DONs within their role. The key recommendations will inform member companies, policy makers, programme developers and educators on what supports are required based on the research evidence.

Clodagh Killeen is LHP Skillnet's Learning & Development Project Manager.

Thank you to all the member companies and participants who engaged with us throughout 2023, giving feedback on our programmes, participating in research and case studies. As a not for profit organisation, we are driven by the feedback we receive from you as to what programmes are impactful for you and where there are gaps within the sector that need to be addressed. Where possible, we try to address these gaps through programme design, development and research where more evidence is required. We are looking forward to updating you on new and exciting projects to come in 2024 which will support our member companies.
— Clodagh Killeen, Learning & Development Project Manager

We have two other projects that are focused on the Home Care Sector and the role of the Home Support Worker. One explores the feasibility of a National Standardized induction programme for home support workers, whilst the other explores the development of a career pathway for home support workers through an international scoping review, which will be published as a white paper with key recommendations for policy makers and includes feedback from key stakeholders within the sector.

We will also continue to carry out impact studies and case studies to illustrate how the programmes we design and deliver support our member companies.

All our research is funded to 100% by Skillnet Ireland. We look forward to sharing the findings from these important projects that will inform workforce strategies for our member companies, policy makers and programme designers.


In summary, 2023 has been a very successful year in which we met all our key performance indicators which included significant growth of member companies, trainees and training days. We also moved into the area of research for the first time and increased our capacity for programme design and development.

Our focus in 2024 will be expanding our team whilst building on all our processes to support additional funding coming from the European Social Fund (ESF+) in the next three years. As always, we will continue to maintain and promote quality within all our programmes and welcome a new team member into the organisation to oversee our programme quality assurance. We look forward to engaging with all our member companies throughout 2024.

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