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Trust welcomes first Nursing Associates

24 June 2019

We at West London NHS Trust are delighted to welcome our first ever Nursing Associates, who will be working at Broadmoor Hospital.

But what is a Nursing Associate?

Nursing Associates are trained to work with people of all ages and in a variety of settings in health and social care. The role is a new generic nursing role in England that bridges the gap between health and care support workers and registered nurses, to deliver hands-on care for patients as part of the nursing team. The nursing associate role is regulated in England by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Our Nurse Associates have gained a foundation degree, involving two years of Higher Education, during which time they have undertaken 2,300 programme hours where time is protected for learning, to achieve an equal balance of theory and practice learning and are some of the first in the UK to be registered with the NMC in this new and exciting role.

Our Nursing Associates are some of the first in the UK to qualify and were part of a pilot group which included trainees from Berkshire Health NHS FT, Frimley Park NHS FT, Royal Berkshire Hospital, Oxford Health NHS FT, Buckinghamshire NHS FT and the Independent sector. In essence they are trailblazers for the Trust, Thames Valley and the Nursing profession as a whole.

The Associates faced many challenges on a number of levels; due to the infancy of the course programme, the changes in the landscape from Health Education England and the Nursing and Midwifery Council, as well as the arrival on placements when, on occasion, they were unaware of the new role and the support required.

Our staff were also the only mental health staff in a cohort that consisted primarily of adult health care staff. This led to our team needing to study and practice hard to catch up in the physical health care aspects of the course – doing so with skill and dedication, as well as supporting external Nursing Associate trainees who were on placement at Broadmoor Hospital, enabling them to feel safe and secure in mental health setting.

They were also instrumental in challenging stereotypes and reducing stigma relating to mental health, presenting at local and national forums, on behalf of the Trust, in an exemplary fashion.

As a group they have overcome the challenges of combining their workplace and learning needs; all-in-all a remarkable achievement in the context of the birthing of a new role in the Nursing profession.

Our six Nurse Associates are:-

  • Leanne Pooley – Woburn Ward
  • Victoria Williams – Chepstow Ward
  • Madeline Castle – Kempton Ward
  • Carla Briscoe– Ascot Ward
  • Jozsef Bolagi – Epsom Ward
  • Charles Craigie – Newmarket Ward

The Associates are pictured here with senior members of staff from the Workforce and Nursing departments.