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Nursing associate test sites across England revealed


The universities and employers selected to test the forthcoming nursing associate role have been revealed in an announcement that confirms double the number of people will be trained for the new position than was originally planned.

Eleven sites across England have been chosen to deliver the first wave of training for 1,000 nursing associates, beginning in December.

“I am delighted with the high level of interest and the quality of the applications received [to test the nursing associate role]”

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt

An additional 1,000 people will also be trained in the role, which is designed to bridge the gap between healthcare assistants and nurses, as previously revealed by Nursing Times.

Health Education England, which is leading the work on developing the nursing associate role, said the number had increased due to “high demand from providers wanting to offer training places”. However, it did not state when the second cohort would begin training.

Eleven sets of partnerships – between education providers and a series of health and social care employers – have been selected for delivering the first wave of training, and will be led by NHS trusts across all regions of the country (see boxes below).

Health Education England

Senior HCA ‘bridging’ role will be piloted next year

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt

These are St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Whittington Health NHS Trust, Bart’s Health NHS Trust and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Foundation Trust covering London and the South East.

Meanwhile, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust will cover the midlands and East of England.

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS FT and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will lead piloting of the role in the north of England.

Finally, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust has been selected for leading the testing of nursing associates in the south.

“Over the last few months we’ve seen widespread support for such a role – we will now move swiftly to make this role a reality and a success”

Ian Cumming

The sites include a range of organisations including universities, care homes, acute, community and mental health trusts and hospices, which HEE said represented the variety of places that nursing associates would work.

HEE said it received a total of 48 applications from potential partnerships across the country.

Professor Ian Cumming, chief executive of HEE, said: “We are at a pivotal point in determining what the future nursing and care workforce needs to look like for now and in the years to come.

”I passionately believe that this new role will help build the capacity and capability of the health and social care workforce and allow high quality care to be delivered to a diverse and ageing population,” he said. “Over the last few months we’ve seen widespread support for such a role – we will now move swiftly to make this role a reality and a success.”

“The new role has clear benefits for registered nurses, providing additional support and releasing time to provide the assessment and care”

Jane Cummings

HEE’s director of nursing and deputy director of education and quality, Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, said: “I am delighted with the high level of interest and the quality of the applications received.

“It shows that there is a real appetite for helping to deliver this new role which we believe can provide a real benefit to the nursing and care workforce across a range of settings and play a key role in the delivery of patient care with safety at its heart.”

Chief nursing officer for England Professor Jane Cummings, said: “It is important that we build a workforce to meet the changing needs of the people we care for. The new nursing associate role will be a part of a team built around those needs and will provide an exciting opportunity for those who want to progress their careers in the field of health and care.”

NHS England

Bursary removal is ‘uncharted territory’, says CNO

Jane Cummings

“The new role also has clear benefits for registered nurses, providing additional support and releasing time to provide the assessment and care they are trained to do, as well as undertake more advanced tasks. This will ensure we use the right skills in the right place and at the right time,” she added.

Ruth May, executive director of nursing at NHS Improvement, said: “The nursing associate role will be a key part of a contemporary multidisciplinary workforce. In my discussions with directors of nursing across England there is widespread support for the introduction of this role for health and care.

“I’m delighted with today’s announcement and I will work with the successful organisations during their pilots.”

Responding to the announcement, Unison head of health Christina McAnea said the new role would potentially help existing healthcare assistants to progress but cautioned against it being used to replace registered nurses.

“These new roles could help improve the career prospects of existing healthcare assistants who already provide vital support to the NHS,” she said. “But they should not be seen simply as another cheap alternative to registered nurses.

“Ministers must also do all they can to give a leg up to existing healthcare assistants so they can qualify as nurses and be paid accordingly,” she said.

“At the moment, far too many healthcare assistants are doing the jobs of nurses but being paid much less than them,” she added.

Full list of test sites bringing together variety of healthcare employers and education providers

Lead Partner: St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

This test site offers diverse mental and physical healthcare experience including working with children and adults of all ages and stages of life, with vulnerable groups such as the homeless and refugees, and with a range of community and specialist services. The area covered is south west London and Surrey and borders.

Region: London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Education Partners: 2

  • Kingston University
  • St George’s University of London

Employment Partners: 5

  • Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Croydon Health Services NHS Trust
  • Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • South West London & St George’s Mental Health Trust
  • Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Placement Partners: 4

  • Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Queens Court Care Home
  • Eothen Homes
  • Royal Star and Garter Homes

Lead Partner: Whittington Health NHS Trust

This test site partnership has a proven track record of working together and offers a very wide experience of physical and mental health, primary and secondary care, and prevention and public health. The placements will include hospices, nursing homes, prison and other settings.

Region: London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Education Partners: 1

  • Middlesex University

Employment Partners: 5

  • Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Haverstock Healthcare
  • Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
  • Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust (BEH)
  • Central London Community Healthcare Trust

Placement Partners: 11

  • Haringey CEPN
  • UCL Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Islington CEPN
  • One Housing Group Ltd
  • Barnet CEPN
  • Marie Curie
  • Camden CEPN
  • Stacey Street Nursing Home
  • Enfield CEPN
  • North Middlesex University Hospital
  • Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital

Lead Partner: Bart’s Health NHS Trust

This well-established partnership is planning a test site that will give trainee nursing associates a rounded experience, including mental health, community health and acute secondary care, with a focus on public health as well as illness.

Region: London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Education Partners: 3

  • London South Bank University
  • City University
  • London

Employment Partners: 4

  • Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Barking Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • East London Foundation NHS Trust
  • North East London Foundation NHS Trust

Placement Partners: 0

Lead Partner: Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

A large and diverse area with a population of 4.5 million is covered by this test site, covering Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire and Rutland. The large partnership will enable a considerable variety of experience, including health care and social care, adult mental health, offender health, public health and more, in primary, community and acute settings, including hospices and care homes.

Region: Midlands and East

Education Partners: 6

  • The University of Northampton
  • The University of Lincoln
  • The University of Derby
  • De Montfort University
  • The University of Nottingham
  • Open University

Employment Partners: 18

  • Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Foundation Trust
  • Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust
  • Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lincolnshire Care Association
  • Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust
  • Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • General Practice Rushcliffe CCG
  • Leicestershire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group
  • West Leicestershire CCG
  • Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Placement Partners: 6

  • Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice
  • LOROS Hospice
  • Mansfield & Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Newark & Sherwood Clinical Commissioning Group
  • East Midlands Training Hubs (nurse leads)

Lead Partner: Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust

Building on an existing partnership, this large test site provides opportunities for placements within primary and acute care, and NHS, voluntary and third sector organisations including the prison service, across an area that includes Manchester, Salford, Bolton and Ashton under Lyne.

Region: North

Education Partners: 3

  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • University of Bolton
  • University of Salford

Employment Partners: 11

  • UHSM
  • Pennine Care NHS FT
  • Pennine Acute Hospital NHS Trust
  • Salford Royal NHS Trust
  • Royal Bolton Hospital
  • The Christie
  • Tameside General Hospital
  • Wrightington Wigan & Leigh NHS FT
  • Greater Manchester West Mental Health Trust
  • Stockport NHSFT
  • Trafford CCGs

Placement Partners: 0

Lead Partner: Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS FT

This experienced partnership already supports a range of relevant education programmes including registered nursing and social work. It will provide experience for the nursing associates across acute, community and primary care for urban, rural and coastal communities, with a strong emphasis on learning disability and mental health services.

Region: North

Education Partners: 1

  • University of Chester

Employment Partners: 7

  • Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust
  • Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust
  • 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Cheshire NHS Trust
  • Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group 

Placement Partners: 5

  • North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Trust
  • Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust
  • Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Lead Partner: Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust

This established partnership spans a wide area including Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and West Birmingham, Walsall, Burton, Shrewsbury and Telford, Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent, with diverse and multi-cultural rural and urban populations. The trainee nursing associates will experience a wide range of traditional and non-traditional healthcare settings including a variety of specialist areas.

Region: Midlands and East

Education Partners: 1

  • University of Wolverhampton

Employment Partners: 9

  • Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
  • South Staffordshire & Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation
  • Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust
  • The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
  • The Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust
  • Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group

Placement Partners: 2

  • Compton Hospice
  • Walsall Community Education Provider Network (CEPN)

Lead Partner: Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Foundation Trust

The smallest of the nursing associate test sites, this initiative focuses on children and young people and their families, and spans north, central and east London with placements in Chelsea and Westminster. In addition, the services are accessed by children and young people nationwide.

Region: London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Education Partners: 1

  • London South Bank University

Employment Partners: 4

  • Bart’s Health NHS Trust
  • Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust
  • The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust

Placement Partners: 2

  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Lead Partner: Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

This test site covers Leeds, Bradford and Airedale, serving inner city and urban populations and dispersed rural environments. Trainee Nursing Associates will work with neonates, children, adult and elderly patients in hospital, and will also be placed in primary and community care, in mental health services and care home.

Region: North

Education Partners: 3

  • Leeds Beckett University
  • University of Bradford
  • University of Leeds

Employment Partners: 5

  • Leeds Community Healthcare
  • Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust
  • Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Airedale NHS Foundation Trust
  • Leeds Care Association

Placement Partners: 4

  • Wheatfields Hospice
  • St.Gemma’s Hospice
  • Bradford District Care Trust
  • Leeds North CCG

Lead Partner: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

Acute and community trusts are working together in this test site to provide experience across the full range of acute, primary, community, public health, mental health and integrated health and social care services, in an area that includes an affluent university city as well as other urban areas and market towns, isolated rural communities and a large migrant population.

Region: Midlands and East

Education Partners: 1

  • Anglia Ruskin University

Employment Partners: 6

  • Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust
  • Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Hinchinbrook Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Peterborough Care

Placement Partners: 3

  • Cambridgeshire Clinical Commissioning Group
  • West Cambridgeshire Community Education Provider Network (CEPN)
  • Greater Peterborough Network Ltd

Lead Partner: Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

This test site brings together organisations across Devon. It is a new partnership of established NHS providers (including GP practices and the ambulance service) and care homes and social care providers, across rural and urban settings and covering many types of service

Region: South

Education Partners: 3

  • Plymouth University
  • South Devon College
  • Petroc College

Employment Partners: 5

  • Northern Devon Healthcare Trust
  • Torbay and South Devon Foundation Trust
  • Plymouth Hospitals NHS trust
  • Livewell South West Plymouth
  • Cann House

Placement Partners: 5

  • Hospiscare
  • Mears Care Torbay
  • Devon Partnership Trust
  • Classic Care Home



Readers' comments (14)

  • Pussy

    How sad. It's only a matter of time before the Registered nurse force is diluted beyond recognition. We have a degree standard so why ruin a good thing? A travesty.

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  • Why ruin a good thing?

    Because those who have invented this role are clueless as to what happens on the wards. They see it a a cheap alternative to a properly qualified nurses and they don't care just so long as the staff numbers box is ticked.

    Mid Staffs seems so long ago ...........

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  • Meanwhile we trained face the mockery that is revalidation. Most of the required work has to be done in our own time and won't make us better nurses.
    It may make us leave the profession altogether or downgrade to associate nurse. Is that the subtle plan?...... retain the skills of the qualified nurse but reduce the pay.

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  • If staff nurses had the time to do everything we would not need the foundation degree assistant nurses. Many will go on to do a full nursing degree. Let's all try and work as a team with good management from the staff nurses.

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  • It is interesting to look at who responded to the consultation. Registered nurses in the main did not support does seem to be another way of paying people less to do more.

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  • What exactly is the difference between an Assistant Practitioner and an Associate Nurse? I'm an Assistant Practitioner with an FdA Degree. What will the new role do that we as Band 4's can't?

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  • New Associate practitioners are doing a medicine management module. They will be able to give patients medication. you will need to update with this module if you want to keep your 4.

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  • Well said Marina Phillips. PUSSY you appear only interested in your 'red ribbon certificate'.
    This new initiative can only be a good thing which if handled well and with good spirit can alleviate stress amongst staff nurses which I have witnessed on many a busy ward. End result beneficial to the patient.
    Pussy, you are the type of nurse who fortunately I rarely come across nowadays who relishes looking down on all but yourselves. I have heard many negative comments in the staff room from your type!
    For instance: Care Support Workers, Health Care Assistants, Bank staff money for nothing, rubbish most of them.
    Take them all away and I think your heads would be spinning at the end of a busy shift. Think positive and stop glorifying yourselves. I am from the old school of nursing days and my lack of a degree does not hold me back from often giving out some very needed advice and help to a fair few newly qualified arrogant degree nurses.

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  • Anonymous, 14/10/16. It used to be termed ' the pot calling the kettle black'

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  • Well they got rid of Enrolled Nurses and then found something was missing so we had the birth of Health Care Assistants, who on the whole do a good job filling that gap.
    I am one of those State Enrolled Nurse who has not got a degree nor have I converted, and I have been nursing since the late 70's, doing what I always wanted to be a bed side nurse. This may or not be a good thing to some newly qualified degree nurses, but I have years of experience and kept myself updated.
    There are some brilliant HCA who do not have all the qualifications to do their nursing degrees, and we must look after these as it would be ashamed if they left because they were not getting the support and help they needed.
    My trust is one of the pilot sites and I'll watch with interest, as I'm slowly coming to retirement age. I know that within the next 10 years most of us SEN's will have retired.

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