Published: Friday, 25th September 2020
West Norfolk is set to get its own School of Nursing thanks to cash from the Government's Town Deal Accelerated Funding which has been confirmed today.
The bid, supported by the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk and the Town Deal Board, was developed by the College of West Anglia in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. A grant of £597,000 has now been secured to deliver this project which will see high quality nursing training facilities developed at the college campus. The college will deliver the Level 5 (foundation degree equivalent) Associate Nursing Apprenticeship to support the future workforce needs of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Only locations identified for Town Deals have been offered access to this additional grant to fund capital projects that can be delivered by 31 March 2021. £750,000 has been allocated to King's Lynn, in additional to the original £25m Town Deal fund already allocated. £597,000 for the School of Nursing, and a separate bid for the remaining £153,000 to go towards public realm improvements.
David Pomfret, Principal/Chief Executive of the College of West Anglia, said: "The School of Nursing creates a fantastic opportunity for west Norfolk. The Coronavirus has caused a massive global recession, however, health and social care is one of the very few sectors which is set to grow.
"This project, a partnership between the College of West Anglia, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, will create local career and skills development opportunities. Nursing is an incredibly important and rewarding career. This project will mean that the very best of talent can stay local, improve the stability and quality of the QEH workforce and support the west Norfolk economy as well as the wellbeing of west Norfolk communities."
The project will include the provision of two high-quality teaching spaces, refurbished into a hospital ward with two beds and equipment, to give students with near real-world experience of a clinical setting, and a simulator suite with two beds and clinical simulator dummies to present students with challenging situations. Scenarios from the simulator suite will be broadcast into larger class rooms so that a larger body of students can learn from the experience.
Dr April Brown, Chief Nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are absolutely delighted that funding has been secured for the West Norfolk School of Nursing.
"Once in place, this course will open up career opportunities for local people who perhaps never thought that there would be a chance to study nursing in West Norfolk, closer to home.
"The capital part of this project will be completed within the funding timescales, with the accreditation work taking place in order for the School of Nursing to receive their first cohort of students in September 2021."
Graham Purkins, Chair of the Town Deal Board, added "The healthcare sector is one of the largest employers in west Norfolk. This project will provide opportunities for local people to access nursing training and employment in King's Lynn instead of them having to travel to Norwich or Cambridge. This increase in access to skills facilities will enable us to grow our own employees for the healthcare sector rather than having to recruit from overseas. It also establishes a model of closer collaboration with local employers to ensure employees have the skills they need."