A return to practice scheme has started in Lincolnshire, with the aim of bringing back former nurses to the county’s acute and community services.
The scheme is a partnership between United Lincolnshire’s Hospitals NHS Trust, Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, Derby University and Health Education East Midlands.
“We are looking towards a similar collaboration next year”
The return to practice course, which began on 20 July, saw 11 former nurses begin their training to regain their nursing registration.
Health Education East Midlands is providing £500 towards each student’s expenses as well as paying for course fees. The trusts also receive £500 per nurse who takes up their place.
The course runs for 24 weeks at which point the nurses will have completed degree level academic work and a minimum of 150 hours in practice.
It is the first funded course of its kind in Lincolnshire for over eight years. Previously students had to travel to the University of Derby or University of Northampton to complete the academic part of their course.
Deputy chief nurse Liz Ball said: “I’m delighted that we have a return to practice course being delivered locally in Lincolnshire and hope that the nurses will become part of our future workforce.”
Head of practice learning Dianne Charysz added: “This is an exciting opportunity to return local nurses to employment within Lincolnshire and we are looking forward to supporting them through the course. We are looking towards a similar collaboration next year.”
“We are looking to recruit more clinical staff to build on the excellent improvements in care we have already made”
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the largest trusts in the country. It provides services from three acute hospitals – Lincoln County Hospital, Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, and Grantham and District Hospital – and a number of community hospitals.
The last few years have been challenging for the trust, which was taken out of special measures in March, after demonstrating to regulators that it had improved performance. It was put in the support regime in July 2013, following a review of trusts with high mortality rates by NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh.
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Ms Ball said: “It’s an exciting time to join the trust. We are making massive improvements in the quality of our services, and are looking to recruit more clinical staff to build on the excellent improvements in care we have already made.”
Jill Anderson, strategic lead for education and quality standards at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, added: “This particular programme not only offers financial assistance to update your knowledge, but gives access to supportive, experienced tutors and mentors, alongside long-term employment locally in Lincolnshire.
“By working with partners like the University of Derby, we are committed to ensuring everyone has access to the best possible opportunities, whether that be for those exploring returning to practice with us or entering nursing for the first time,” she said.
The return to practice scheme forms part of the national Come Back to Nursing programme, which was launched in the autumn.