The Nursing and Midwifery Council has announced that it will work towards a “phased return” of student nurses and midwives to the Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire.
The announcement today follows a meeting on Tuesday between the NMC, the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority, the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, the Open University, and the universities of Northampton, Nottingham, and Lincoln.
The NMC withdrew all 82 nursing and midwifery students from the hospital with immediate effect on 28 July.
Today’s statement, issued jointly on behalf of the organisations represented at the meeting, comes after calls for clarity on the unprecedented move, which the NMC said was due to “serious concerns” with the learning environment at the hospital.
No new information on the specific issues affecting the Pilgrim have yet come to light.
However, the statement said the meeting was “constructive”, and that “all parties agreed a way forward to support a future phased return of nursing and midwifery students”.
The statement said: “New practice placements have already been provided for all students withdrawn on 28 July.
“Final year students will not be required to repeat the final 12 weeks of the course, as long as their learning is up to date, but will instead be offered final assessment in an alternative practice placement following a short period of induction.
“Alternative arrangements are also being made for new students starting courses in September, though most will not in fact be in practice placements before early 2012.”
A further meeting is planned for mid-October to review progress.
The Royal College of Nursing’s East Midlands operations manager Cliff Edwards said: “We welcome the statement and are pleased to see the universities, NMC and trust working together.
“However, the statement still fails to explain to the students and staff at Pilgrim what those issues and concerns are which warranted this unprecedented removal of students, and what the future action plan will be.
“Both students and staff at the hospital deserve a full explanation which includes the reasons for such drastic action and we anticipate more details in the very near future.”