The Royal Oldham Hospital welcomes new Nursing Associates

The Royal Oldham Hospital and other local hospitals managed by the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group are set to welcome the first wave of new Nursing Associates, with 13 new Nursing Associates due to start work on wards at the Royal Oldham this month.

The new staff will join teams across the group’s five hospitals in Oldham, Salford, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester, after successfully qualifying from a new two-year foundation degree course at The University of Salford.

The Nursing Associate role is a new national role that has been launched in a bid to bridge the gap between Healthcare Assistants and Qualified Nurses, and to supplement existing nurse recruitment.

The Royal Oldham Hospital, which is part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS group, is one of the first hospital groups in the country to be involved with the initial nursing associate pilot project set up in 2017 and the new Nursing Associates are amongst the first wave of new trainees to graduate the course.

A total of 31 new Nursing Associates have been trained across the NCA group, with 13 of those graduates set to start work in Oldham. Hospitals at Bury and Rochdale will benefit from 14 of the Nursing Associates, eight will be based at North Manchester General Hospital, and eight will be based at Salford Royal. They will enter the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register before embarking on their new roles on wards across the Trust.

Nicola Firth, Director of Nursing and Interim Chief Officer at The Royal Oldham Hospital, said: “We are thrilled to welcome our new Nursing Associates as they embark on their new careers in nursing and begin their new roles supporting the patients and staff on our wards.  This is an exciting development and we are proud to have been part of their journey towards a new and exciting career in nursing.”

The new Nursing Associates will add to a growing number of clinical staff being recruited across the hospital. Over the past year, The Royal Oldham Hospital has recruited 133 qualified nurses, 26 midwives, 94 doctors and 21 Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), all of which have helped the hospital to improve the care and treatment offered to patients in Oldham.

Suzanne Drury, Lead for Clinical Workforce Transformation, explains more about the new nursing associate role and how it will help transform patient safety and care on hospital wards: “The new Nursing Associates will play a key role within nursing teams throughout the hospital. They will work with our healthcare assistants and registered nurses to deliver first class care to patients. Their role will provide vital support to registered nurses, with their duties including a variety of clinical tasks. They will also perform and record key clinical observations such as blood pressure, temperature, respirations and pulse checks, all of which will help to improve the care patients receive on wards and departments.

“Their training has been rigorous and they have gained a range of experience across all fields of nursing, which can only benefit the care and treatment we provide to patients. I’m sure they will be a very welcome addition to our wards.”

One of the first new Nursing Associates to qualify and start work at The Royal Oldham includes Mike Lee, 31 from Mossley, who will be joining the Theatres Team.

Mike said: “I was inspired to train as a Nursing Associate, as it was a great opportunity to train for a career in healthcare. The fact I could learn skills in a range of different placement settings across the trust, whilst gaining hands-on experience and clinical skills on the job really appealed to me.

My training as a Nursing Associate has been very interesting and rewarding. I’ve experienced a variety of different placements, which has given me a great insight into the care we provide to patients in both the hospital and community. Although the workload can be challenging, I’ve been fully supported by trust clinical educators and my colleagues, which has been great. My first placement was two years ago on the theatres team at The Royal Oldham and I’m really excited to be joining the team as a permanent member of staff.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about career opportunities in nursing at the Northern Care Alliance, should contact: or You can also follow our recruitment team on Twitter at: @NCAlliance_Jobs.

For more information on the new nursing associate role and what it involves, please visit:

For any media enquiries, please contact Josie Neil, Communications and Engagement Lead on: 0161 6278703 or by

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