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Unique course for tomorrow's healthcare professionals

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust has joined forces with Eastleigh College to provide a unique opportunity for school and college leavers wishing to work within healthcare.

The new health and social care course is an exclusive Level 3 full time study programme that not only provides essential knowledge and a recognised qualification, but also the hands-on skills and experience required to be able to gain an apprenticeship or employment. The training can be tailored to students’ needs and prepares them for a variety of specialisms including orthopaedics, cardiac, theatres or outpatients.

Fifty per cent of the students’ time will be taught by our industry experienced lecturers, with the remaining time spent underpinning this theory in a variety of placements at University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust sites. Placements will be arranged across a range of specialisms to look to suit each student’s interests and specific career aspirations.

Anita Esser, who manages apprenticeships and support worker training at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have worked with Eastleigh College for many years providing work experience and enrichment opportunities, and they deliver functional skills training for our staff. We like their reactive, responsive approach to education. This results in the students gaining important employability skills as well as all the elements needed for a well-rounded education that is relevant to today’s healthcare environment.”

Assistant principal with Eastleigh College, Lou Gittens, said: “We delighted to have worked with University Hospital Southampton to provide this fantastic and unique opportunity for those wishing to work within healthcare. It builds on existing, established relationships with the trust, and promises a guaranteed interview for a support worker role upon the successful completion of the course.”

The qualification also carries up to 168 UCAS points enabling learners with the aspiration to go on to university to move into careers such as registered nursing, midwifery, as a paramedic or within occupational therapy.

Lou added: “Progression to university is particularly appealing to many following last month’s announcement that nursing and some other healthcare degrees are eligible for a £15,000 NHS bursary. While students are still able to access funding from Student Finance England, this bursary provides the opportunity for students to leave university with a degree with high employability and no living cost debt.”

The government’s re-introduced NHS bursary scheme, which will be available from September 2020, provides students taking a degree in nursing, midwifery and many allied health professions courses with a minimum guaranteed sum of £5,000 per year. An additional £3,000 is available for eligible students. The NHS's health careers website provides up-to-date information.

The entry requirements for this specialist health and social care course are a minimum of six GCSEs including maths and English at grade 6-9. More information regarding the Eastleigh College health and social care courses can be found here.