December saw the start of a 2yr training programme for new  ‘Nursing Associates’ roles within the NHS. The programme aims to deliver a higher level of health care training to existing nursing support workers who possess a ‘care certificate’ but are not graduate registered nurses.

It will also offer a career pathway for those wishing to progress within the health care sector, offering more job satisfaction and in turn sustainability.

The shape of caring review, shares it’s plan to offer continual training in health education and career progression to existing health care workers and to ensure high quality care to all patients for the next 15years.

The IndexR view: ‘Sustainability in the NHS is vital for it to be a viable long-term option for healthcare in the UK. Plugging gaps in staffing with more money for agency staff is not a solution, but providing short-term training programmes and career pathways that make it easier and more viable for support workers to progress their careers can make a real difference, helping Nurses in turn to broaden their availability.’

Nursing Associates, will look to bridge the wide gap currently felt between care/support workers and fully trained nurses. The Nursing Associates will relieve nurses of certain pressures, providing effective and hands on support. In turn this should free up over stretched nurses, allowing them to utilise their expertise in more specific areas of need and departments in crisis.

The training programme is at present being rolled out across eleven key hospitals around the country with two of those champions being in the North West Region. Central Manchester and Cheshire & Wirral are both instrumental to the programme which offered 1,000 places in December with another 1,000 in the pipeline for 2017 thanks to huge interest from both health workers and providers wishing to get on board.

Professor Ian Cumming, Chief Executive of HEE promised ‘We will now move swiftly to make this role a reality and a success’

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