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Locations of HCA-student nurse pilot sites starting to emerge

A quarter of the potential student nurses who will be piloting the government’s controversial pre-nursing experience policy will be in the East of England, it has emerged.

Up to 200 aspirant nurses will be recruited across the country to work for up to year as a healthcare assistant before they start their degree, according to Health Education England, which is overseeing the scheme for the government.

Recruitment began this month with the pilots due to start in September. They will take place in six of the 13 Local Education and Training Boards areas – East of England, East Midlands, North Central and East London, North East, North West, and West Midlands.

Those taking part will be paid and known as pre-nurse experience HCAs. Their role will be identical to that of HCAs.

Details are gradually emerging of the location of the pilot sites and the organisations involved.

Health Education East of England has said 50 PNE HCAs will be recruited for pilots across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

Its acute sector sites for the pilots have been listed as Ipswich Hospital Trust, James Paget University Trust, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Trust, West Suffolk Hospital Foundation Trust, and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn.

Also listed is one community service provider Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust.

Cambridge University Hospitals Trust, which runs Addenbrooke’s Hospital, said it would be taking 10 prospective nurses for the year-long pilot.

Successful applicants will work full time with a band 2 salary of between £14,294 and £17,425, and they will be guaranteed a nursing course interview upon completing the pilot.

The trust’s interim chief nurse Ann-Marie Ingle said: “Nursing is an extremely challenging as well as fulfilling career and it is essential that those entering the profession have the right qualities which can be developed to become great nurses.

“This programme, which if successful could be rolled out across the NHS, allows both applicants as well as employers to explore whether individuals have the potential to become nurses of the future,” she added.

Health Education East Midlands has said the pilots will work with two local higher education institutions, the universities of Derby and Northampton.

In addition, it has listed four hospital trusts as being involved – Derby Hospitals Foundation Trust, Chesterfield Royal Hospital Foundation Trust, Northampton General Hospital Trust, and Kettering General Hospital Foundation Trust.

Meanwhile, Health Education North Central and East London said it was working with three high education institutions – Middlesex University, City University London and London South Bank University.

The six trusts involved in the pilot are mostly acute organisations but also include the mental health provider Camden and Islington Foundation Trust.

The others are the Whittington Health Trust, Barts Health Trust, University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust, and the Royal Free Hampstead Trust.

Details are yet to be published of sites involved in the pilots taking place in the West Midlands, North east and North West.

The plan was announced earlier this year by the government as part of its initial response to the Francis report into the failings at Mid Staffordshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • This is doomed to fail

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  • Why are we not taking Experienced hca's who are already employed with the trust and pushing them through instead of hiring more. Its crazy we have great hca's who need are help and support to become great nurses.

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  • Anonymous | 21-Aug-2013 6:59 pm

    sounds like too many non-nurses with little understand of the profession meddling in the whole proccess. heaven help the future of the nursing profession. as you suggest the resources already available should be utilised to their best avantage.

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