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What is a Care Home Education Facilitator (CHEF)?

The CHEF roles are a first in Wales, developed to encourage more healthcare students to undertake placements within care homes.


Meet the CHEFs

Each Care Home Education Facilitators covers a separate Welsh region. All three possess extensive experience within different healthcare environments and a passion for education within the sector.

South-West Wales – Sarah Kingdom-Mills 

Sarah Kingdom-Mills has experience working within several areas across multiple regions within Wales and Southwest England and has a strong interest in learning disabilities. As her career has progressed, she has become increasingly interested in staff development and education services, which became her sole focus from August 2017 when she took up post as an education liaison nurse before participating in the pilot CHEF role in 2021.

“I see our CHEF roles as key in raising the awareness and the viability of career options and pathways for healthcare students within Social Care settings”.

Sarah recently wrote an article discussing the benefits of care home placements for the Royal College of Nursing.


North Wales – Bernadette Evans 

Bernadette Evans has worked within acute medicine, stroke rehabilitation and community settings; with care of the older adults forming the focus of her post graduate studies. Building on a long-held desire to become a nurse educator, she began working within higher education since 2004, supporting both academic and clinical environments.

“I am very much looking forward to working with my colleagues as part of the Care Home Education Facilitator team, and our colleagues within the care home sector to develop care homes as excellent practice learning environments for healthcare students and promoting a career pathway at the point of registration, while supporting lifelong learning for all care home staff.”  

South-East Wales – Claire Hall 

Claire Hall has worked across various settings including orthopaedics, theatre recovery, health visiting and nurse education. In accord with her passion for the learning and development of others she has recently completed an MSc in Public Health Nursing and a Post Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Education. 

“I am excited to be part of the first Care Home Education Facilitator team in Wales, where I hope to work closely with care home managers and staff to facilitate and develop high quality practice learning environments for healthcare students, raising the profile to the skills and knowledge required to work within the social care sector.”


Next Steps

The CHEF’s initial work involves scoping the provisions currently available across Wales to utilise existing data collection when possible. The team have also been making contact and developing relationships with the relevant stakeholders.

Simon Cassidy, HEIW Head of Placement Experience and Improvement, said “We hope to expand Care Home Education Facilitator roles in due course, but the first part of what is an initial three-year Welsh Government funded plan of work, will be to scope the potential for increased student access to the care home sector. Work has started to develop the national and local links, overarching governance, and stakeholder groups required to advance this programme of work.”

Following the establishment of connections, the course will be set for the CHEF programme to foster a new era of collaboration between healthcare students and care homes in Wales. 
“The introduction of the first Regional Care Home Education Facilitators in Wales is a significant and exciting new venture. We look forward to key stakeholder collaborations with the ambition to develop further learning opportunities for nursing and wider healthcare students in the care home sector.”