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Northamptonshire welcomes new nursing associate students


Northamptonshire's first nursing associates pictured at the University of Northampton

Northamptonshire has welcomed a group of history-making students who are leading the way in shaping the nursing workforce of the future. 

38 nursing associate students have been recruited to a landmark pilot scheme, and the group began their studies last week at the University of Northampton. 

Northamptonshire one of only 11 pilot sites in UK

Northamptonshire is part of a wider East Midlands collaborative of NHS Trusts and universities and  one of only 11 pilot sites in the UK training the first wave of nursing associates.

The new nursing associate role is a key part of national plans to create a strong, sustainable nursing workforce for the future. The nursing associates will work alongside existing health care support workers and registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients. 


The new nursing associate uniform with purple piping 

Shaping the future of the nursing profession

Carolyn Fox, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Patient Services at Northampton General Hospital, said: “This is a really exciting time for nursing in Northamptonshire as we help  to shape the future of the nursing profession. This confirms the strength of the partnerships between the NHS and the University of Northampton in producing nursing professionals of the highest calibre.

“We’re delighted to welcome and support the first students to embark on this new route in nursing. We provide outstanding levels of support to our existng nursing workforce and we’re looking forward to extending that to our new nursing associates.”

"Critical for  the future  of the health and social care workforce"

Dr Steve O’Brien, Dean of the University of Northampton’s Faculty of Health and Society, said: “I’m extremely pleased that the Faculty have been able to respond to this initiative in such a short timeframe. It has clearly demonstrated the strength of our working  partnership with the NHS Trusts in Northamptonshire. The Nursing Associate role will be critical for  the future  of the health and social care workforce in the future and I’m delighted the Faculty is playing its part in shaping this development.”

Eleven sites across the country – representing partnerships between universities and employers, including NHS trusts, GP practices and care homes –are delivering pilot schemes over the next two years. Northamptonshire is represented on the Midlands & East pilot site which includes neighbouring areas of Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire & Rutland.

Northampton General Hospital, Kettering General Hospital, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Northampton are all partners in the programme which will provide trainees with on-the-job learning through a combination of placements days, taught education, and time in practice.


The Midlands & East pilot represents a large and diverse area with a population of 4.5 million covering Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire & Rutland. The large partnership will enable a considerable variety of experience, including health care and social care, adult mental health, offender health, public health and more, in primary, community and acute settings, including hospices and care homes.

Education Partners (6): 

  • The University of Northampton
  • The University of Lincoln
  • The University of Derby
  • De Montfort University
  • The University of Nottingham
  • Open University

Employment Partners: (18)

  • Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Foundation Trust
  • Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust
  • Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lincolnshire Care Association
  • Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust
  • Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • General Practice Rushcliffe CCG
  • Leicestershire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group
  • West Leicestershire CCG
  • Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Placement Partners (7):

  • Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • St.Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice
  • LOROS Hospice
  • Mansfield & Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Newark & Sherwood Clinical Commissioning Group
  • East Midlands Training Hubs (Nurse Leads)
  • St Andrew’s Healthcare, Northampton
Posted on Tuesday 9th May 2017
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