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Working with education commissioners in the NHS

Pre-registration nursing

Since the launch of our Pre-registration nursing programme in 2001, we have been working with education commissioners across the UK to deliver flexible and accessible development opportunities for the best able support staff to progress into nurse-education. 

We have formal commissioning contracts for Pre-registration nursing with

  • seven of the thirteen Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) in England
  • the Scottish Government (Department for Health) and local health boards in Scotland
  • the Department for Health Social Security & Public Safety (DHSSPS) in Northern Ireland

Although I’m only in the second year of my degree, my self-confidence has increased already and I’m a lot more self-motivated. I now have greater knowledge too, of course, and my studies have enabled me to link theory to practice.

Read more Amy Goodman, MKUH Nursing student

Wider workforce development

We have learning beyond registration (LBR) and continuing workforce development (CWD) contracts with a growing number of Health Education England  (HEE)  regional bodies to deliver flexible and accessible development for health and social care staff education and training solutions in three SHA areas in England including:

  • HEE Yorkshire & The Humber
  • HEE London (all three commissioning bodies)
  • HEE Wessex
  • HEE North-East
Trish Bowen receiving her Diploma

My diploma was funded via the Yorkshire and Humberside Development Fund (YDF). Not only have I progressed in my chosen career (I’m now a fully-qualified staff nurse) but it’s given my self-confidence a big boost.

Read more Trish Bowen

OU and MKFT partnership

Improving care for people with dementia in Milton Keynes

A pioneering partnership between Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and The Open University is ensuring that people with dementia will receive the best possible care during their stay in hospital.

Through a partnership between Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and The Open University, the learning achievement of 42 healthcare assistants (HCAs) was marked by a celebratory event at The Open University on Monday 4th November.

The group of HCAs was congratulated publicly on their completion of a new short course Improving Dementia Care (KG002). The short course was developed by a team of leading healthcare academics from the OU’s Faculty of Health & Social Care with the express intention of improving care for people with dementia. The HCAs were supported by the local Trust to study the course as part of a wider initiative to make the Trust a dementia-friendly community – and to use the experience of OU study to launch a new role for these HCAs as ‘Dementia Champions’.

What makes this initiative a real cause for celebration is the commitment of senior nurses at the Trust to invest in the development of frontline staff – and the enthusiasm with which HCAs have risen to the challenge of studying online with the OU (for many of them years after they left school). All have been able to put their study into practice to improve patient care.

Working with the OU, healthcare staff have access to world-class learning and can study flexibly, at times to suit them, and without taking significant time out, away from patient care.

Jane Naish, Deputy Chief Nurse and Head of Quality at Milton Keynes Hospital said: “It’s very important for us to invest in education right at the front line where it supports high quality care. This is why we are collaborating with The Open University to enhance the knowledge and skills of our health care assistants in caring for people with dementia. We are already beginning to see some real benefits to patient care, so are planning to support further groups on the dementia care short course and on the end-of-life care short course.”

Dr Liz Clark, Senior Lecturer, School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, The Open University said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with our local hospital to support their plans to invest in the learning and development of their healthcare assistants. Working together, we can tackle the challenges associated with providing high quality care for all. With widening participation in higher education as central to the mission of The Open University, this initiative plays to our strengths and we are beginning to see evidence that education can make a real difference to the patient/service user experience.”

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