The University of Worcester has received the largest allocation of additional health training places in the Country.
Worcester has been allocated an additional 473 places for students to study Nursing, Midwifery, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Paramedicine this year, as well as 25 places for those wanting to train as primary school teachers.
The Government has released a total of 5,611 places for healthcare courses at universities in England to support the NHS, with 3,803 of these additional places going to nursing courses. Bids for extra places were assessed on the quality of each provider, including their rates of continuation and graduate employment outcomes.
The University of Worcester is one of the best educators of nurses and midwives in the UK. Worcester is currently number 1 out of 75 institutions for student satisfaction in Midwifery, as well as being the most shortlisted of all UK universities in the annual Student Nursing Times Awards, which are widely regarded as the OSCARS of nursing education. Amongst the 8 accolades are Pre-registration Nurse Education Provider of the Year, for which Worcester is shortlisted for the 6th time an all-UK record.
Professor David Green CBE, University of Worcester Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted that the University of Worcester has been allocated 473 additional healthcare places, starting this September. We are deeply committed to doing all we can to help the Country to recover from the pandemic. The wonderful, skilled, brave role played by our nurses, midwives, paramedics and health professionals has earned the admiration of the whole country. We must put an end to the chronic shortage of highly skilled nurses, midwives and other health professionals. We will be doing everything in our power, together with our excellent NHS partners in Dudley, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, South Warwickshire and Worcestershire to make this happen.”
Nursing and Midwifery
The University’s allocation includes 240 additional Nurse training places, across its Adult (200), Child (20) and Mental Health (20) pathways. Currently the University trains around 250-300 Nursing students every year, so this new allocation will see numbers almost double. The University has also been allocated 70 additional places for Midwifery, again nearly doubling the size of its usual annual intake to 150.
Robert Dudley, Head of the University’s Three Counties School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “The Three Counties School of Nursing and Midwifery, which this year celebrates 25 years of educating many thousands of nurses and midwives, produces graduates who are not only highly technically competent but who are compassionate and caring practitioners. This increase in student numbers will enable us to continue to support the local and regional workforce.”
As well as Nursing and Midwifery, the University has been allocated an additional 44 Physiotherapy places, 44 Occupational Therapy places, and 75 Paramedicine places.
Elizabeth Davies-Ward, Head of the University’s School of Allied Health and Community, said: “I am delighted with the success of our application and the additional numbers for Allied Health professions, which includes Physiotherapy and, Occupational Therapy. This will firmly cement our position as a key provider of these courses in the region. In the most recent National Student Survey, Worcester’s Physiotherapy received 100% satisfaction and as such is now the top rated course in the Country.”
Worcester City MP, Robin Walker, added: “Increasing the number of nurses training and being recruited for the NHS has been a key priority for the Government and one I have been happy to support. I am pleased that training numbers will increase nationally and that we have already delivered an increase of 13,500 more nurses than a year ago. I am delighted that the University of Worcester, which has established itself as a high-quality centre for nursing and midwifery, has been singled out to receive the largest allocation of training places in the country. This is a great vote of confidence in our University and should provide a boost to local health trusts in recruiting high quality nurses and midwives. I hope that this great success will also help to support the case for a medical school in Worcester, which I also fully support. As we have seen during this year’s unprecedented Covid crisis, great nursing is not just a matter of importance, it can be a matter of life and death. Worcester will benefit from this decision and I want to pass on my congratulation and thanks to the team at the University who have done so much to support the local NHS in recent months.”
The news has received positive responses from the University's NHS Partners:
Professor Steve Hams, Director of Quality and Chief Nurse at Gloucestershire Hospitals, said: “I am really delighted that the University of Worcester has been successful in securing a growth in undergraduate nursing places, this is wonderful news for the region and comes at an important time where the value of nurses, midwives and other healthcare professional could not be higher. We are a proud practice partner to the University of Worcester and look forward to benefiting from the increased number of students.”
Jackie Edwards, Deputy Chief Nurse (Quality) at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “This is excellent and exciting news, well done to the Senior leaders in Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health at Worcester University. It reinforces our commitment to support excellent health care for the people we service in Worcestershire. The high quality education and training that is provided at The Three counties school of Nursing and Midwifery for our future workforce is fantastic and the increase in numbers is one at Worcestershire Acute Hospital Trust we welcome and are whole heartedly committed to support.”
Carole Roberson, Interim Head of Education and Clinical Development at Worcestershire Health and Care Trust, said: "Worcestershire Health & Care Trust recognises the need to expand the number of health care professionals for the future and we are delighted on this latest news. The Trust is looking forward to working with the University of Worcester and other partner organisations to provide clinical placement opportunities for students, thereby supporting them to develop into the health care professionals of the future."
Lucy Flanagan, Director of Nursing at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: "This is fantastic news for Wye Valley NHS Trust and more importantly, for the people of Herefordshire – many of whom are our patients.
“The current pandemic has shone a light on the hugely important role nurses play in our lives and these additional undergraduate nursing places for Herefordshire and Worcestershire are most welcome. Huge congratulations must go to Worcester University for the success of their bid for the extra places and we look forward to continue our partnership with them to ensure the Trust’s nurses receive first class training and education to help us deliver excellent services.”
Through most of the last decade, Worcester ran a nationally noted campaign seeking to increase or at the very least maintain training places for student nurses, recognising the needs of the people and the nation. From 2011 to 2018 the University campaigned to reverse the government decision to cut student numbers nationally – including a 17% cut in the West Midlands – which resulted in a severe nursing shortage by the time the pandemic struck with a shortage of at least 5,000 in the region. During this time the University was told by Ministers and senior government workforce planners that more student nurses would mean unemployed nurses. Life has proved them utterly wrong.
The University is currently working hard to create a new campus for health and wellbeing and a new medical school to serve the people of our region and beyond.
If you are interested in studying Nursing, Midwifery, or other allied health subjects, places are available starting in September. The University is also working towards opening a February 2021 intake.