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Mental health partnership helps University to continue to improve the student experience

Posted on 19 November 2020

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust have been instrumental in assisting the University to become one of the most highly regarded places in the UK to become a Registered Mental Health Nurse.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Trust work closely with the university to ensure that students (especially in their 3rd year) get placements that support them with their career aspirations and are tailored to support them in the specific direction that they want to follow in their career.

The Department has recently moved up the rankings in three University Guides, The Complete University Guide, The Guardian University Guide and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

The rise in the rankings has been a result of continued work of staff, current students and practice placement providers to improved nursing and midwifery education at York, and cements the region’s reputation as a centre of excellence for health professional education.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust are proud of the relationships they have forged with both the University and the students. They have a strong focus on retention as students are the next generation and they aim to encourage those that have trained with them to stay on and work for them. The recent Aspirant nurse scheme achieved just this with many of those on the scheme choosing to stay on and work for the Trust full time.. The Trust offered students who were 6 months off qualifying a paid placement as an aspirant nurse and of the 17 that did the placement 15 were recruited as full-time members of staff at the end of their training.

Director of Nursing and Governance at the Trust, Elizabeth Moody, said “Those on the aspirant nurse scheme had had the opportunity to learn more about what it is like to work for the Trust and we are pleased that they liked what they saw, had a positive experience and chose to stay with us.”

The Trust helps practice supervisors / assessors to support students by providing ongoing weekly workshops to support them in their role. They offer a good preceptorship package, offering those that finish their preceptorship the opportunity to become practice supervisors themselves and use their experiences to train the next round of nurses.

They pride themselves on taking on board feedback from students and the University and constantly develop their offerings to meet the needs of students and the University. They took a detailed and bespoke approach to supporting students (across the trust) during the recent paid clinical placements in response to COVID, which was also well-received by students.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust have also supported the University to produce their programmes such as the recent move into Apprenticeships for trainee Nursing Associates and were part of the working group that developed the programme.

Elizabeth also said: “We’ve a long track record of working with the University of York and they are a key partner when it comes to delivering for training our nursing staff. Over the last few years, with their support we have been able to grow the number and range of placements we are able to offer, giving students more choice and experience when it comes to mental health nursing opportunities. We have also worked with the University to invest in staff development by introducing an apprenticeship programme for training our existing staff in the new role of Nursing Associate.”

“To hear that mental health nursing students in York are amongst some of the most satisfied students in the country is fantastic news. Students in York also now have access to training at the new Foss Park Hospital, which offers state of the art, modern mental health facilities. We pride ourselves on giving students the best opportunities possible and we hope that many more will choose to join the nursing programmes at the University and train with us in future.”

Professor Paul Galdas, Head of Nursing and Midwifery, said: "It's fantastic news that the quality of our nursing education is being recognised in the league tables this year.  Our academics are passionate and hardworking, and work in close partnership with our regional NHS and healthcare provider partners to support our students to become highly valued practitioners who make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Professor Galdas concluded: “Our students are recognised around the country as an ambitious community of learners who will help shape the future of nursing and midwifery in years to come.”