The “unique” initiative will tackle workforce shortages in the area.
Nursing students in Cornwall will receive a wage and have their course fees paid in return for a commitment to work in the area after they qualify.
Later this year, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT), Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT), Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group and Cornwall Council will introduce the “unique” scheme to grow its own workforce as the number of unfilled posts continue to rise.
The first ‘virtual’ Health and Social Care Academy intake will be autumn this year and will include registered nurses and Clinical Associate Psychologists with the Nursing Associate role being introduced later.
The apprenticeship levy will be used to pay students’ tuition fees but local NHS trusts will foot the bill for wages.
‘A different approach’.
Phil Confue, CFT Chief Executive said: “ If we didn’t come up with a different approach to recruitment and training there would be an additional 114 vacancies in the mental health workforce alone than in 2016. This would be repeated across the different care groups.
“While a strategy of attracting more people to move to Cornwall to work in health and social care is one approach, this would be being tried by every area in England; rather Cornwall has started to embark on the process of “growing our own” staff to meet these gaps.”
“This is a custom made solution for Cornwall,” said Kim O’Keefe, RCHT Director of Nursing.
Guest speaker, Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Chief Nurse from Health Education England described the initiative as “a real step in the right direction” and applauded local leaders by coming up with a plan that was not driven by money but that had been created by identifying local need.