Lincolnshire to Pilot New Nursing Support Role

Health care providers in Lincolnshire will pilot the training of care staff in a brand new nursing support role. 

In December 2015, the Government announced a plan to create a new healthcare support role - the nursing associate - that will sit alongside existing nursing care support workers and fully qualified registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients. It has the potential to transform the future of the nursing and care workforce. 

The bid from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, Lincolnshire Care Association and St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice will see the health care providers working together to shape the role, to recruit and train across both hospital and community settings. 

Debrah Bates, Deputy Chief Nurse at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "It's quite an accolade to have been successful in our bid. At ULHT we will be looking at having our trainee nursing associates particularly at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston to strengthen our workforce. 

"This is all about providing sage and high quality care for our patients using new roles and will help with the current and predicted shortfall in registered nurses. We currently have 265 nursing vacancies at ULHT." 

At the end of June 2016, Health Education England announced its call for applications for test site partnerships to introduce the new role of nursing associate with the goal of having 1,000 nursing associate trainees recruited and ready to start in December. 

Susan Ombler, Deputy Director of Nursing at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said: "This is a great opportunity to develop and grow the future workforce with the right skills and knowledge to meet the delivery of high quality patient care in Lincolnshire. We are looking forward to welcoming the new trainees in their placements with us and supporting them in their career."

In England eleven sites have been chosen to deliver the first wave of training. On qualification, these trainees will become the first nursing associates in the country.

Anne-Maria Olphert, Director of Nursing at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are really pleased to be able to develop this new role in our organisation. It will help us to adapt to the increasing demand we are seeing on services, while we continue to support people through severe episodes of mental health." 

The course is full time and will run for two years and is a practice based course with academic input from the University of Lincoln. This was a five-county wide bid in the East Midlands area with Lincolnshire being oe of the five 'circuits'.

Jane Bake, Director of Servive Innovation and Integration, St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice, said: "At St Barnabas we are delighted to be part of this successful bid. This is an exciting time for Lincolnshire as we can influence the nursing associate role, to embed our values of compassion and dignity to ensure patients receive safe, high quality care."

Profesor Lisa Bayliss Pratt, Director of Nursing and Deputy Director of Education and Quality, Health Education England, 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 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. 

"I would like to express my personal thanks to everyone who has shown interest in becoming a test site."