UNIVERSITY of Worcester chiefs are celebrating after it received the largest allocation of additional health training places in the country.
Worcester has been allocated an additional 473 places for students to study nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and paramedicine this year, as well as 25 places for those wanting to train as primary school teachers.
The Government has released a total of 5,611 places for healthcare courses at universities in England to support the NHS, with 3,803 of these additional places going to nursing courses. Bids for extra places were assessed on the quality of each provider, including their rates of continuation and graduate employment outcomes.
Professor David Green CBE, University of Worcester Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted that the University of Worcester has been allocated 473 additional healthcare places, starting this September. We are deeply committed to doing all we can to help the Country to recover from the pandemic. The wonderful, skilled, brave role played by our nurses, midwives, paramedics and health professionals has earned the admiration of the whole country.
“We must put an end to the chronic shortage of highly skilled nurses, midwives and other health professionals. We will be doing everything in our power, together with our excellent NHS partners in Dudley, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, South Warwickshire and Worcestershire to make this happen.”
The University’s allocation includes 240 additional Nurse training places, across its Adult (200), Child (20) and Mental Health (20) pathways. Currently the University trains around 250-300 Nursing students every year, so this new allocation will see numbers almost double. The University has also been allocated 70 additional places for Midwifery, again nearly doubling the size of its usual annual intake to 150.
As well as Nursing and Midwifery, the University has been allocated an additional 44 Physiotherapy places, 44 Occupational Therapy places, and 75 Paramedicine places.
Worcester MP, Robin Walker, said: “Increasing the number of nurses training and being recruited for the NHS has been a key priority for the Government and one I have been happy to support. I am pleased that training numbers will increase nationally and that we have already delivered an increase of 13,500 more nurses than a year ago.
“I am delighted that the University of Worcester, which has established itself as a high-quality centre for nursing and midwifery, has been singled out to receive the largest allocation of training places in the country. This is a great vote of confidence in our University and should provide a boost to local health trusts in recruiting high quality nurses and midwives.
“I hope this great success will also help to support the case for a medical school in Worcester, which I also fully support. As we have seen during this year’s unprecedented Covid crisis, great nursing is not just a matter of importance, it can be a matter of life and death.
“Worcester will benefit from this decision and I want to pass on my congratulation and thanks to the team at the University who have done so much to support the local NHS in recent months.”