28 March 2013
This week the government unveiled a series of measures to overhaul the NHS in response to the Staffordshire Hospital public inquiry.
Debra Teasdale, Acting Dean for the Faculty of Health and Social Care, comments on the government's announcement.
“The full details of the government’s proposals to reform the NHS are not yet available. However, the government has proposed that Health Education England*, the body charged with the commissioning of healthcare professional education, should pilot schemes where ‘those who wish to study NHS funded nursing degrees should first spend time working as a healthcare assistant to assess their values and behaviours’ and ‘to help them ensure they are making the right career choice’.
“Everyone engaged with nurse education agrees that this is of fundamental importance, but The Council of Deans for Health** has highlighted that nurses undertaking educational courses in universities are already recruited against NHS values and amended professional standards.
“Universities, NHS providers and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have not worked in a vacuum since the initial Francis enquiry, and all these organisations will continue to work to improve processes so that the right people, with the right attitudes, are recruited for and deliver future healthcare.
“In current recruitment activities, Canterbury Christ Church University already reviews applications from potential students which demonstrate that many already have experience of working within the health and social care sector as healthcare assistants or volunteers. However many other applicants have equally relevant experience, related to their direct care of relatives or friends in the home environment where they have demonstrated care and compassion. These experiences have been inspirational and focused the applicants’ career development. Such applicants should not be precluded from recruitment.
“Nursing programmes at Christ Church were revalidated for delivery in 2012, and reflect all the new requirements. Programmes are delivered 50% in the University and 50% in practice, across healthcare providers in Kent and Medway.
“Our local data suggests only a small number of students withdraw from their studies as their experience in placement does not match their perceived reality, which is testament to the support received in placements by visiting academics and local nurses with specialist ‘mentoring ‘ qualifications.
“This partnership working continues throughout the programme where the Canterbury Christ Church University Student Fitness to Practice panel subsequently acts as an effective mechanism which allows the University, with provider input, to fulfil the on-going responsibility if a student fails to demonstrate the expected values, attitudes and behaviours during their studies, whether in practice or in their private life.
“The University will be working with the newly established Kent, Surrey and Sussex Health Education England Board to take agreed proposals forward and will continue with its commitment to building and developing the evidence base that supports any future changes in healthcare education practice to ensure that the public are provided with committed, compassionate and high quality health and social care practitioners.”
Notes to Editor
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.
With nearly 20,000 students, across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.
- 93% of our recent UK undergraduates are in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
- Christ Church is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2011 UCAS).
- We are the south east’s largest provider of courses for public service careers (outside of London).
*2010/11 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey