Thirty six recruits have joined a ground-breaking NHS training programme which is being led by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT).
The group are aiming to become nursing associates, new roles which will bridge the gap between nursing care support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses.
CPFT, which is leading the pioneering programme in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, was one of only 11 Trusts across the country to be chosen by Health Education England to deliver the first wave of training.
On their first day in their new roles the trainee nursing associates attended a welcome event at Anglia Ruskin University, in Cambridge, to find out more about their two-year training schedule.
Anglia Ruskin University is providing the academic training for the nursing associates, 18 of whom who will be working at CPFT. The other trainees will be working at Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust (one), Hinchingbrooke Healthcare NHS Trust (three), Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (eight), Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (four), and Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (two).
CPFT already recruits and trains nurses in a variety of ways including a very successful student nurse training programme, also run in conjunction with Anglia Ruskin University.
Kath Gordon, from CPFT’s Learning and Development Team, who leads the nursing associates programme, said: “The welcome day was a great success. The students are very enthusiastic and committed, and keen to get started. We are delighted to have 36 starting their journey as nursing associates and very pleased that 18 are going to be with us at CPFT.
“Our new students have a range of valuable experience including community, older people’s care, learning disability, ward-based, and mental health backgrounds, so they will be a great asset to our frontline and social care teams.
“CPFT, as the lead organisation, looks forward to working with our partners in developing the role. We want to ensure that everybody working in a healthcare setting understands the purpose of this new role and how it can support registered colleagues and healthcare assistants alike.”
One trainee, Tom Chatfield, from Ely, who has been a healthcare assistant for 15 years and works for CPFT at the Phoenix Centre, an eating disorders unit for young people, in Fulbourn, Cambridge, said: “I am really, really excited at the prospects and the opportunities offered by the training programme.”
Kirsty Pyke, from Haverhill, who has been with CPFT for two years and works on Willow Ward, an older people’s ward, at Fulbourn, Cambridge, said: “I am very pleased to start as a nursing associate, especially to be one of the first on the programme, and I am really looking forward to progressing.”
The students will begin their academic training in the next weeks. Part of that training will be at Anglia Ruskin’s campus in Peterborough. They will be wearing nursing associate uniforms in their new roles.