The University of Gloucestershire has been approved by the government to deliver training for an important new NHS nursing role which will sit alongside existing nursing care support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients.

Health Education England, the body responsible for planning and developing the healthcare and public health workforce, announced that Gloucestershire was one of 24 test sites that will deliver training for the new Nursing Associate role.

Working in close partnership with the CCG, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, 2gether Mental Health NHS Trust and Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, the University of Gloucestershire will design and deliver training in the new role.

Gloucestershire has been allocated 32 Nursing Associate training places, out of 1,000 places allocated nationally in this wave. Training will start in 2017.

As part of their training programme, Nursing Associates will undertake placements in a variety of health service settings to get hands-on experience of working in the health service and become well-prepared to provide a high standard of care to NHS patients in the future.

There was further good news in the announcement that the University will offer a new nursing degree from September 2017. The course will help tackle nursing shortages both locally and nationally through a three-year undergraduate degree with hands-on experience at every stage.

Development of a sustainable health and care workforce is a key theme within Gloucestershire’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).