James Paget University Hospital launches new academy for aspiring healthcare workers

Cherry Townsend, Sharon Crowle and Bryony Golding from The James Paget University Hospital education

Cherry Townsend, Sharon Crowle and Bryony Golding from The James Paget University Hospital education team. Picture: Courtesy of the James Paget - Credit: Courtesy of James Paget University Hospital

A hospital is hoping to nurture the healthcare staff of the future by launching its own academy.

The James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston has set up a new health academy, which will see it link up East Norfolk Sixth Form College to offer vital experience for students looking for a career in health.

Health Academy will launch in Setpember 2018 and will see any successful applicant continue their studies at the college, while also taking part in sessions at the hospital’s own education and training centre.

Staff from the hospital will be visiting the college on Thursday, February 22, to introduce the scheme to students, with the opportunity to apply to become a member of the academy already open.

It will cater to students seeking a career in any section of health, whether they want to be doctors, nurses or take on any other health profession.

Sharon Crowle, head of education and practice development at the hospital, said: “We want to attract people into healthcare, which can be a rewarding profession in itself, but which offers lots of opportunities to progress.

“Our current director of nursing started as a student nurse at the hospital ad we offer a number of routes into nursing via apprenticeships and support programmes.

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“We want to widen participation by young people who may have an interest in healthcare and a desire to find out more about what it entails.

“The academy will teach life skills, resilience and communication techniques, as well as more about the roles themselves and working in our hospital.”

Heidi Cullingham, of East Norfolk Sixth Form College, said “This is an amazing opportunity for our students to be able to engage in meaningful activities with an employer in the healthcare sector.

”It has been a pleasure to work with the Education Department at James Paget University Hospital and I know that the programme being offered will make a real difference to those fortunate enough to be accepted.”

The hospital will also be working with the Take Your Place scheme, an initiative set out by the Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach to target young people from underrepresented backgrounds to progress into higher education.

Andrew Underwood, a Take Your Place higher education champion, has been working at the hospital to shape the project for students looking to go into the health profession.

He said: “To so many young people, higher education is all about university. However, as this project shows, there are some fantastic alternatives to university, such as apprenticeships.”