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20 Oct 2016

Nursing Associates – From Plan To Action

Industry News

After announcing a new Nursing Associate role back in December 2015, Health Education England are turning their plans into action by revealing that they are doubling the number of people who will be trained. They have also announced the eleven sites across England that have been chosen to deliver the training.

The support for the plan has been overwhelming with HEE receiving 48 applications from potential partnerships across the country. The eleven successful test sites are:


Region covered

St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

London & South East

Whittington Health NHS Trust

London & South East

Bart's Health NHS Trust

London & South East

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Foundation Trust

London & South East

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Midlands & East of England

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust

Midlands & East of England

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

Midlands & East of England

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust

North of England

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS FT

North of England

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

North of England

Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation

South of England

The combination of sites brings together a wide range of institutions such as care homes, acute, community and mental health trusts and hospices, which represent the variety of places where Nursing Associates will provide care for patients.

This role was created to bridge the gap between health and care support workers, who have a care certificate, and graduate registered nurses. The role was also designed to offer opportunities for health care assistants to progress into nursing.

Although the response to the new role has been largely positive, the Unison head of health, Christina McAnea, has asked for caution to be shown. She said:

“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.

Read more about the Nursing Associate Role and test sites.

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