Suffolk: Two hospitals in the county to train up student nurses in pilot scheme

Nurse training posts in Suffolk

Nurse training posts in Suffolk - Credit: IAN BURT

Two hospitals in Suffolk will be used as training posts for student nurses as part of a national pilot scheme.

The project, which will be launched at West Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital, is designed to ensure future NHS staff show the highest levels of care and compassion.

The scheme will see 50 would-be nurses from across Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridge gain up to a year’s experience as a nursing assistant before starting their undergraduate nursing education.

Of these nursing assistants, ten will work at West Suffolk and will fill vacancies across the Hardwick Lane site.

The pilot, led by Health Education East of England, has been introduced in response to the Francis Report, which highlighted the need for prospective student nurses to have care experience and test their values and behaviours of care and compassion.

The overall aim is to further improve standards of care across the whole of the NHS.

Nichole Day, chief nurse at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “We are delighted that we have been chosen to take part in this exciting project, which places us at the forefront of the very latest thinking within the NHS.

Most Read

“This new scheme will give would-be nurses a golden opportunity to gain vital, frontline experience of caring for patients on the wards. As well as testing to see if they are right for the job, this will also give them a unique insight to make sure the job is right for them.

“We would encourage anyone considering a career as a nurse but has yet to gain any experience of caring to get in touch with us to find out more.”

Sue Pettitt, Ipswich Hospital’s clinical education lead, added: “It’s a chance to get real, paid for caring experience on the NHS front line before taking up the university nurse training.

“It’s a great opportunity for hands on experience for the right people. If you meet all the criteria you will be shortlisted.”

The posts are open to anyone who wants to apply to university to train as a nurse, has little or no experience of caring, is aged 16 or above and does not have a degree or level 4 qualification.

Applicants should not have worked in a patient-facing role in the NHS or within a care setting before.

To apply for a post, visit and complete the form by Monday (August 26).

Applications for posts at Ipswich Hospital are available at