Hospital academy to expand to more colleges

James Paget Hospital is expanding its academy. Photo: JPUH

James Paget Hospital is expanding its academy. Photo: JPUH - Credit: JPUH

Young people considering a career in healthcare can get an insight into the role available thanks to a new partnership.

The James Paget University Hospital (JPUH), in Gorleston, has teamed up with Lowestoft Sixth Form College and East Coast College after the successful launch of the Paget's new Health Academy earlier this year.

After initially linking up with East Norfolk Sixth Form College on the Senior Health Academy, the scheme is now being taken up by Lowestoft Sixth Form College and East Coast College.

Staff from the James Paget's education and practice development team are set to visit the colleges next week to talk to students about the academy, what it can offer and how they can apply.

Anyone at the college interested in a future career in healthcare, whether as a nurse, doctor or other health professional, will be invited to apply for the academy, which will formally start in September 2018.

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Those successful in their applications will continue their studies at the college but will be released for a few days over a six month period to take part in sessions at the hospital's on-site education and training centre.

The sessions are designed to give more information about potential careers, opportunities to progress and what working in a busy hospital is like.

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Sharon Crowle, head of education and practice development at the JPUH, said the academy was another way the hospital was looking to encourage more people into nursing and associated careers.

She said: 'We want to attract people into healthcare, which can be a rewarding profession in itself but which also offers lots of opportunities to progress.

'There are a number of routes in at a range of educational levels, with several members of our team starting as domestic workers and progressing through the education, training and qualifications we can provide.

'You could complete a nursing apprenticeship, become a nursing or physician associate, an assistant practitioner, an allied health professional or join our support team – there are many roles and plenty of opportunities.

'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 about more about the roles themselves and working at our hospital.

'There will be recognition for those taking part, including certificates to mark completion of the academy programme, and we hope this will be a valuable and recognised step into working at the hospital.'

There have already been Junior Health Academy sessions, where up to 40 local high school students are given the opportunity to attend the training centre at the hospital to get an insight into the routes into the health profession.

Ian McLean, head of maths and director of STEM at Lowestoft Sixth Form College said: 'Lowestoft Sixth Form College is really excited to be teaming up with the James Paget to give our students the opportunity to learn some valuable skills and gain experience in the healthcare profession.

'Students are already looking forward to getting started on the programme and to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.'

Debbie Pring, lecturer in health and social care at East Coast College added: 'This is an exciting opportunity for East Coast College health and social care students. It will enable students to experience a range of different roles in the James Paget setting to gain an understanding of how the hospital functions and works together with 'behind the scenes' and front-line staff.

'East Coast College is committed to raising aspirations for our students and inspiring them to look outside of their comfort zone, exploring opportunities that will enable them to achieve their full potential.'

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