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University of Northampton and healthcare partners celebrate as county chosen to pilot new nursing role

News Page 18th October 2016

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.

Dr Steve O’Brien, Dean of the University’s Faculty of Health and Society, commented: “The Faculty of Health and Society at the University of Northampton is 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.”

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.

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