hero image

Nursing Associates: Year One Bedfordshire Partnership Celebration Event

May 10, 2018

Bedford Hospital NHS Trust held an event to celebrate the completion of the first year of the Trainee Nursing Association (TNA) programme.

Bedford Hospital has led the partnership with a number of organisations such as; University of Bedfordshire, Luton and Dunstable Hospital, East London Foundation Trust and Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.

The trainees gathered at the University of Bedfordshire, Luton Campus this week for a special celebration to mark the end of their first year training.

Bedford Hospital was announced as one of the Lead Partners to deliver the Health Education England (HEE) second wave of training for the new associate role.

The Nursing Associate Trainees is a new member of the nursing family and part of the plan to expand and diversify the NHS workforce. The TNAs have spent a year working alongside existing Nursing Care Support Workers and fully-equipped registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients. The role has helped to bridge the gap between health and support workers, who have a care certificate and graduate registered nurses. It has been developed to allow nurses to focus on the more advanced elements of their job and to offer improved career pathway opportunities to emerging talent.

The event featured TNAs sharing personal experiences of their first year through a world café format question and answers session, reflecting on what they have learnt and achieved so they can progress in the role and continue to provide high quality care to patients.

Clare Alden-Salter, a care support worker from Bedford Hospital said, “From our first year we have all gained more courage and confidence to speak up about what our new role is and who we are and how we bridge the gap between the nurse and the health care assistant. We have learnt that we are part of one team. Having the opportunity to study with people from all over care services has been amazing. We have been working as one to understand the different roles we play within the NHS and I have loved having the opportunity to work with some amazing people and be in the forefront of the new course.

“I would like to thank all our mentors and managers and leads for the support over the last year. Thank you for everything you have done for us.”

Stephen Conroy, chief executive of Bedford Hospital states, “It has been great to hear that the TNAs have gained so much confidence in their new role and we have also received very positive feedback from patients and staff. Congratulations to everybody involved, it is fantastic that Bedford Hospital can be at the heart of a groundbreaking initiative to help improve patient care.”

Sally Ashton-May, regional associate clinical lead for Health Education England stated, “We have come a long way in a short space of time. We knew it was a long road and that it would be hard work. It has been tough and there have been lots of challenges, but we believed in it and we’ve been really successful.”