Parliament celebration for nursing programme success

The University was represented at an event in Parliament celebrating the success of the West Yorkshire trainee nursing associate pilot partnership.

Left to right: Nicola Mason, Bob McMaster and Helen Christodoulides

Nicola bob and helen at parliament February 2019

The Apprenticeships for the Nursing Associate programme equips students with the knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and behaviours relevant to being a nursing associate – a new support role developed by the NHS. They work alongside existing healthcare support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients.

Bob McMaster, Deputy Programme Manager for the Foundation Degree in Healthcare working on the programme, attended an event at the Houses of Parliament to celebrate the successful completion of the first foundation degrees for nursing associates in England, and the first candidates successfully joining the professional register.

The event, at the Palace of Westminster, was organised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and Health Education England (HEE) and sponsored by Lord Willis of Knaresborough, who was instrumental in initiating and supporting the development of the programme.

It represented the culmination of three years’ work that flowed from The Shape of Caring. Lord Willis’ review of the nursing and midwifery workforce identified the need for a new layer of workers between the unregistered care assistants and the registered nurses and midwives, and these became the first trainee nursing associates (TNAs). A total of 11 pilot site partnerships were established in England to take the first cohorts through the two-year foundation degree. Leeds joined the West Yorkshire TNA Pilot Partnership to train 27 out of a total of 78 TNAs for the county.

To share in the celebrations, representatives from the first partnerships were invited to attend the event. Bob represented the approved education institutions in the West Yorkshire Partnership, along with Nicola Mason, qualifying TNA, and Helen Christodoulides, Director of Nursing at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust as the employer representative.

Bob said: “The event was a great way to celebrate the fantastic achievement of registering the first nursing associates and welcoming them to the nursing community.”

Congratulatory speeches were heard from Lord Willis; the Rt. Hon. Matt Hancock, Health Minister; Ian Cumming, chief executive of HEE; and Andrea Sutcliffe, chief executive of NMC. The most moving talks were by two qualifying nurse associates, who spoke of the challenges of balancing life, work and study, and of the immense feeling of achievement in finding a new opportunity to develop as people and as healthcare workers.

HEE has expressed a commitment to train 7,500 nursing associates by 2020, and the University has taken two more cohorts of TNAs though the Lifelong Learning Centre.

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