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Learner Handbook

 Learning & Development Unit


Mission Statement 

Listen Develop Understand 


To provide consistently high quality, customer focussed education and learning which develops and enhances the knowledge and skills of the Health and Social Care Workforce to meet the needs of patients and service users within the wider community.





This Learner Handbook has been developed to provide learners with information about the Learning & Development Unit and what support we can offer to you during your studies

The information contained in this document is, as far as possible, accurate and up to date and will be updated on an annual basis.

The Learning & Development Unit (LDU) is based at Merley Croft, Morpeth and is available to provide any learning and/or work support which is required.  


Meet the Team Leads:


Julia Marley – Staff Development Officer

Lead for Adult Provider, QCF qualifications, Joint Investment Framework

Telephone: 01670 629038



Tracey Horseman – Staff Development Officer

Lead for Care Management, PQ & Placements

Telephone: 01670 629042



Jen Poplett– Learning & Development Business Manager

Lead for Administration, Finance & Learner Applications

Telephone: 01670 629036



In the first instance if you have any queries please contact:

Learning & Development Unit – Helpdesk

Telephone: (01670) 629033




Staff who are employed within the Learning & Development Unit (LDU) are qualified to offer Information, Advice and Guidance.


Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)  


What is IAG?  


Information: can be provided on learning opportunities in a range of formats including leaflets, internet or face to face.

Advice: is an opportunity to talk to a member of staff within the LDU on a one to one basis about any queries you may have, or to have explained any information you may have received.

Guidance: is a discussion with the appropriate member of the LDU to explore skills, interests and needs in relation to training opportunities and assess the range of options available to meet learner’s needs. 


What we can offer



Functional Skills Advice and Support 


The Learning & Development Unit maintain an excellent working relationship with an initial assessment team to provide support and guidance in Functional Skills, with the aim to improve an adults ability in the practical application of Literacy, Numeracy and Computing.

Please contact the Learning and Development Unit for further information.


How can you access our service?


In writing:  Learning & Development Unit, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Merley Croft, Loansdean, Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 2DL

By Phone:  01670 629033

Drop in:  Learning & Development Unit, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust, Merley Croft, Loansdean, Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 2DL 




Information Resources provided by LDU include: 


Some websites that may be of interest in planning learning and work opportunities include:


Learn Direct – a national website with access to online training including functional skills and job seeking skills.  Learndirect can also be contacted by freephone 0800 101901


National Careers Service – a website which contains careers advice and career tools including CV Builder and Skills Health Checklist.  The National Careers Service can also be contacted by freephone 0800 100900


Northumberland Gov – this website contains contact details for the Library Service throughout Northumberland

The above websites give information about studying a degree in Social Care at Northumbria University– every year the LDU supports a small number of Northumbria Healthcare staff to be seconded to undertake this qualification.  Further information about this scheme is available from the helpdesk.


Feedback and comments  


Please complete our evaluation forms following attendance to any of our events or courses to help us improve our services.  We welcome your comments whether you are satisfied or not.

If you have any comments or you would like any further information please feel free to contact Jen Poplett, Business & Development Manager on (01670) 629036


Policies & Procedures 


All staff within The Learning & Development Unit ensures that the following polices and procedures are adhered to:

Should you require further information or would like to see a copy of any of the above policies please contact the Helpdesk on 01670 629033.


Appeals, Compliments and Concerns


The Learning and Development Unit is committed to developing a workforce that is fit for purpose and flexible in order to complete within the changing health and social care economy it serves.

The aim of the LDU is to consistently provide high quality learning and development opportunities to enhance the knowledge and skills of the health and social care workforce across Northumberland.

Whilst we endeavour to ensure that our learning and development processes are of the highest standard, we recognise that there may be occasions when you are dissatisfied with the service that you have received from us and in these circumstances we want to know about it as soon as possible to enable us to ensure our programmes are fit for purpose to meet the needs of the service.

Your views are important to us, and whether or not it is a compliment or concern about the department it will give us valuable feedback about the way we work and where possible improvements can be made.

For further information please contact the Learning & Development Unit.




It is important that you contact the helpdesk and your line manager if you are unable to attend any training you have booked onto.  We request that we receive 5 working days notice.  Please note failure to do this may result in a charge to your employer.




You will have been given a Learner Charter which will detail our expectations of you as a Learner and also your expectations of us as your Learning Provider.




Fire evacuation drills are held periodically at sites which are used for learning.  Trainers will inform you at the start of your training of your nearest evacuation route.  If there is a fire or a fire evacuation drill, please leave the building in an orderly manner as quickly as possible.  Do not enter the building until advised to do so.


First Aid


Emergency First Aid is available from qualified members of staff.


Health & Wellbeing


We are active in promoting health & wellbeing for learners.  The Health Improvement Team, based within Northumbria Healthcare, is available to give advice and guidance on the wide range of services they offer.

Please contact 01670 811972 for further information or email .


Safeguarding your Wellbeing 


Your safety & wellbeing are important to us therefore LDU ensures that venues have been risk assessed to ensure they are safe and fit for purpose.  Comfort breaks are included in half day and full day training sessions where refreshments will be provided.




For travel information to our venues please click the link below:

Arriva Bus Timetables and Tickets


Or contact Traveline on 0871 2002233.

Maps to venues are available via the helpdesk for learners who use their own vehicle.  Please note parking charges may be applicable at some of our venues.