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Over 5,500 nursing associates working in the NHS with more to come under NHS Long Term Workforce Plan

SINCE joining to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register in 2019, 5,500 nursing associates are working in the NHS as it marks the 5 year Anniversary.

Nursing associates work in a variety of settings and play an essential role in delivering patient care within health and care teams.

This key clinical role is a bridge between healthcare assistants and registered nurses and enables registered nurses to lead on more complex assessment and planning of care.

The nursing associate role also provides a career pathway for healthcare support workers and is a potential progression route into graduate level nursing. Over the last 5 years, thousands of healthcare support workers from NHS Trusts have enrolled on training nursing associate programmes.

Emily Robinson is 1 of the healthcare support workers who has taken up this opportunity.

She said that she has always been interested in a career in healthcare and originally wanted to become a midwife but didn't have the right qualifications to study this at university.

However, her desire to work in the healthcare sector wasn't diminished and she was offered a role working as a healthcare support worker.

Emily, who works for Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust, said:- "I decided I wanted to pursue my career further into nursing and successfully applied to be a Trainee Nursing Associate. Since I started in March 2023, I spend my time working alongside qualified nursing colleagues. I have worked in a variety of different placements, both in hospitals as well as out in the community such as in health visiting services. I combine working as a trainee nursing associate with university assignments and while it is hard work, I think it is a great approach to be learning while you are working."

Increasing the number of routes into the nursing professions is a key part of growing the workforce to achieve the ambitions laid out in the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan.

The plan has pledged to increase the number of nursing associates to 64,000 full time equivalents (FTE) by 2036/37.

In order to achieve this, the NHS will expand the number of training places to 10,500 by 2031/32, as part of the wider plans for expansion across the nursing professions.

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said:- "Since its introduction, the nursing associate role has made a huge contribution as part of the multi-disciplinary team and provides essential care and support to patients and their families. As well as being a vital profession in its own right, the nursing associate training pathway also plays an important role in career progression; recognising talent and offering opportunities to healthcare support workers to progress if they want to as well as providing a potential onward route from nursing associate to registered nurse. I welcome every opportunity to grow our professions as we continue to increase the number of nursing associates and open up the nursing profession to more people, I look forward to welcoming them to the NHS."

Andrew Stephenson, Health Minister, said:- "Nursing associates do a fantastic job supporting patients and enabling registered nurse to focus on more complex care. These roles will play a central part of the NHS's Long Term Workforce Plan which will expand the number of nursing associate training places to:- 10,500, by 2031/32."

CLA launches General Election missions for the rural economy

THE Country Land and Business Association (CLA) launches General Election 'missions' for the rural economy. The 6 missions or political 'asks' are focussed on specific policy areas including:- farming, housing, rural crime and access which will help generate up to £43bn for the national economy.

The CLA's plan for the rural economy after the next General Election aims to aims to unlock the countryside's untapped economic potential and close the rural productivity gap.

The 6 CLA policy missions covering sustainable farming are:- affordable homes, rural economic growth, responsible access, a connected countryside and rural crime, offer practical and cost effective solutions to some of the key barriers to rural business success and will help rural communities flourish.

These missions, which represent the next phase of the CLA's successful Rural Powerhouse campaign (launched in the run up to the 2019 General Election), have been developed following conversations about how politicians from all parties will be approaching their manifestos and what sort of ideas are most likely to be listened to.

The CLA has already had several conversations with different political parties about the recommendations in each mission, and will work hard to continue delivering our comprehensive engagement strategy, including:- meeting MPs, ministers and their shadows, and the people who write the manifestos.

Jonathan Roberts, CLA Director of External Affairs, said:- "These 'missions' show the extent of our ambition for the rural economy. If implemented, the ideas contained within these 6 short documents could generate up to £43bn for the national economy. This would allow our members to grow their businesses, creating good jobs and spreading opportunity across our rural communities. The launch of these documents marks the 1st phase of our General Election strategy, which is to work closely with stakeholders in all of the major parties as they develop their manifestos. The next phase will begin later this month as we rollout an extensive engagement strategy with candidates of all major parties across England and Wales. Through our Rural Powerhouse campaign, the CLA is very well placed to guide the next Government, whichever party forms it, towards building a policy agenda that will finally unlock the vast potential of the rural economy."

The CLA's team in the North will intensify existing face to face engagement with Members of Parliament, as well as Parliamentary Party Candidates.

CLA Director North, Lucinda Douglas said:- "Enhancing farming support, infrastructure and policies conducive to rural economic development should be front and centre in the run up to the next General Election, and any party that comes up with a genuinely ambitious plan for rural areas would, I suspect, win a great deal of support. Our efforts to engage with politicians and Parliamentary Party Candidates will continue across Cumbria, Lancashire, the North East and Yorkshire."

See details of the CLA's 'missions' online at:- CLA.Org.UK.

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