The Royal Marsden

New in-house foundation degree for Healthcare Assistants

Healthcare Assistants at The Royal Marsden can now train to be Nursing Associates in-house as part of a national pilot.

The two-year long Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care is validated by the University of East Anglia. The Royal Marsden School will provide the academic education and the Clinical Education team practical training, supporting staff in the wards and clinical departments.

The course will qualify trainees as Nursing Associates, with the aim of providing additional levels of skilled care in clinical areas, bridging the gap between qualified nurses and health care assistants (HCAs). This will provide a career pathway for HCAs, and Nursing Associates will be eligible to apply for shorter nurse training at a later date.

The Trust will work in partnership with St Raphael’s Hospice in Cheam and a nursing home (part of the Community Vanguard) to provide placements for trainees, who will also spend time in clinical areas within The Royal Marsden and its Community Services team.

Cathy Wilson, Head of The Royal Marsden School, said: “This foundation degree is a huge opportunity to provide a more formal education for our healthcare assistants. The aim of this course is to equip our healthcare assistants with more knowledge and skills, especially communication and understanding illness in the context of a patient’s life and we hope this will ultimately ensure patients continue to get the best care available to them.

“We want to show what excellent care and education opportunities we have at The Royal Marsden for our HCAs. We have good clinical links at The Royal Marsden School with our educators also working in the clinical field. Going forward we want to form partnerships with other hospitals so that we can help influence how patients are cared for at The Royal Marsden.”