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Supply Improvement Programme

In 2014/15 we carried out a fundamental review of nurse education in order to assure ourselves that our programmes meet existing healthcare requirements both now and in the future.  The interim report for the review can be found here.

The review involved collecting evidence from a wide range of stakeholders and collating this into streams of work which, when implemented, would improve nurse education. The work from the review is recognised in the national Shape of Caring Review, and the implementation phase is called the Supply Improvement Programme; as it aims to improve the supply of nurses with the right skills.




The workstreams are:

  1. New Routes into Nurse Education
  2. Clinical Learning Environment - Education that focuses on the right balance of skills and knowledge
  3. Maximizing Return on Investment Through Employability
  4. Maximising Workforce Versatility


New Routes into nurse education

Post Graduate Nursing Programmes

These programmes take 2 years to complete. We have increased places from 90 in 2015/16 to 110 in 2016/17 and have developed a sponsorship model, so that Trusts can sponsor employees onto the programmes and tie them into employment contracts.  A Pre-nursing programme is available for those with no clinical experience.

Flexible Nursing Pathway – Work-Based Learning.

This pathway is for staff with a Foundation Degree and takes 18 months to complete. We have increased places from 5 in 2013 to 140 in 2016.

Routes into Flexible Nursing Pathway

We have developed a Step on/Step off grow your own pathway for nurses in line with Talent for Care and have the core outcomes for a regional nursing Foundation Degree.

Future funding models

As we move into a loan based system of education the funding models for the above programmes will change.  We have developed a guide to future funding models.


Clinical Learning Environment - Education that focuses on the right balance of skills and knowledge

We have piloted three new approaches to improving the capacity and quality of the Clinical Learning Environment. These are:

We are developing a good practice guide for implementation, based on the outcomes of evaluating these three pilots and this will be available shortly.


Maximizing Return on Investment through Employability

We have developed a best practice guide.


Maximising Workforce Versatility

Band 1-3 Support Workers - Examples of innovative Band 1-3 roles have been collated here.

Assistant Practitioner We are developing a guide to the role and collated some examples of innovative practice.

Academic Pool We have worked with local universities via the Academic Pool.  This innovative approach has given rise to system of collaboration and roll out of best practice.

Nursing Associates
Three Nursing Associate Partnerships across the east have been chosen for test bed sites for trainee nursing associates. The first wave site is Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, with 36 trainees commencing Jan 2017 and the two Fast Follower sites are Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire with 69 and 38 trainees respectively commencing April 2017. Further information about the National Work can be found here.


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