Bedford Hospital is to take a leading role in a national scheme training staff for the new role of ‘nurse associates’.
It is one of 35 sites across the country to take part in the training, which will start early next year.
Bedford Hospital will be lead partner for the Midlands and East region, with other organisations involved including the University of Bedfordshire, the Luton & Dunstable Hospital, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and Bedford Borough Council.
Nursing associates will work alongside existing nursing care support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients.
The role will bridge the gap between health and care support workers, who have a care certificate and graduate registered nurses. It has been developed to allow nurses to focus on the more advanced elements of their jobs and to offer improved career pathway opportunities to emerging talent.
Tracey Brigstock, acting director of nursing and patient services for Bedford Hospital, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as one of the lead partners to deliver this training.
“This is great news not only for the hospital in helping to tackle some of the recruitment challenges we currently face but for all those wishing to find a route into nursing. Our dedicated nurses will definitely appreciate the extra support this new role will bring.”
Professor Lisa Bayliss Pratt, director of nursing and deputy director of education and quality for Health Education England (HEE), said: “The high level of interest in delivering training for this important role means that we have been able to select even more sites to take forward the training.
“It further underlines the 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.”