A highly successful partnership between Bridgwater & Taunton College and local NHS Trusts is providing an effective response to the acute shortage of trained nurses in Somerset.
A unique Level 5 Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship is enabling the Trusts to grow talent from grass roots by taking their best healthcare assistants and building their skills, confidence and leadership abilities to a point where they can undertake complex tasks and manage, lead and inspire others.
The impact on learners has been immense. Each of the 57 learners enrolled on the programme thus far has surmounted huge personal challenges in order to achieve, with many now undertaking roles as responsible and fully-accountable leaders/managers, who train and mentor others, whilst collectively driving a culture of high quality, compassionate care.
We have since partnered with three NHS Trusts, the University of the West of England and other stakeholders to develop a two-year Level 5 Nursing Associate pilot programme achieving 100 enrolments to date. By providing an opportunity to ‘top-up’ to a BSc locally, the programme ensures that trained nurses are not lost to Somerset.
The college is now a fully integrated stakeholder in health and social care workforce development locally; working to shape nursing provision in Somerset.