Healthcare leaders in Northamptonshire have welcomed news that the county has been selected as a test site for training the first wave of nursing associates in the UK.
Over 1,000 nursing associates will begin training across the UK this December in a new role that will sit alongside existing nursing care support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients.
Eleven sites across the country – representing partnerships between universities and employers, including NHS trusts, GP practices and care homes – have been confirmed to carry out the piloting over the next two years. Northamptonshire is represented on the Midlands & East pilot site which includes neighbouring areas of Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire & Rutland.
Northampton General Hospital, Kettering General Hospital, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Northampton are all partners in the programme which will provide trainees with on-the-job learning through a combination of placements days, taught education, and time in practice.
Healthcare leaders welcome announcement
Carolyn Fox, director of nursing, midwifery and patient services at Northampton General Hospital, said: “This new role has been designed to bridge the gap between health and care support workers and graduate registered nurses. For health care assistants, it offers great opportunities to progress into nursing roles; for nurses, it provides practical support and skills on our busy wards; and for our patients, it means their care will be delivered by an enhanced nursing team all focused on delivering safe and compassionate care.
“On a larger scale, it’s a great opportunity for Northamptonshire and I’m delighted that our combined expertise will influence the future of our nursing workforce.”
Dr Steve O’Brien, Dean of the University of Northampton’s Faculty of Health and Society, commented: “The Faculty of Health and Society at the University of Northampton are pleased to be a partner in the development and delivery of the new nursing associate programmes being rolled out through the first wave of test bed centres funded by Health Education England (HEE). This is a significant development in relation to the local health and social care workforce in Northamptonshire specifically and the East Midlands more generally.”
Julie Shepherd, director of nursing, AHPs and quality at Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As a trust we are committed to developing our workforce and helping to open up nursing to people from all backgrounds. We believe the new nursing associate role provides a fantastic opportunity for people to get into nursing and we look forward to helping shape future generations of nurses.”
Kettering General Hospital’s director of nursing and quality, Leanne Hackshall, welcomed the new role. She said: “It offers opportunities for support workers and nurses and for greater collaboration across Northamptonshire. It is a new and exciting role that will enable us to further develop our workforce and enable them to gain skills and knowledge to better meet the needs of our patients. The make up of the workforce in the NHS is changing rapidly and it is to new ways of working and new roles that we must look to continue to provide high quality care.”
Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said: “It is important that we build a workforce to meet the changing needs of the people we care for. The new nursing associate role will be a part of a team built around those needs, and will provide an exciting opportunity for those who want to progress their careers in the field of health and care.
“The new role also has clear benefits for registered nurses, providing additional support and releasing time to provide the assessment and care they are trained to do, as well as undertake more advanced tasks. This will ensure we use the right skills in the right place and at the right time
“The introduction of nursing associates is a positive and welcome step forward and I look forward to following progress made as training begins.“
Midlands & East pilot details
The Midlands & East pilot represents a large and diverse area with a population of 4.5 million covering Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire & Rutland. The large partnership will enable a considerable variety of experience, including health care and social care, adult mental health, offender health, public health and more, in primary, community and acute settings, including hospices and care homes.
Education Partners (6):
? The University of Northampton
? The University of Lincoln
? The University of Derby
? De Montfort University
? The University of Nottingham
? Open University
Employment Partners: (18)
? Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
? United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
? Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
? Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
? University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Foundation Trust
? Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust
? Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
? Lincolnshire Care Association
? Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust
? Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust
? Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
? Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
? General Practice Rushcliffe CCG
? Leicestershire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
? East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group
? West Leicestershire CCG
? Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group
? Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Placement Partners (6):
? Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
? St.Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice
? LOROS Hospice
? Mansfield & Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group
? Newark & Sherwood Clinical Commissioning Group
? East Midlands Training Hubs (Nurse Leads)