Building Bolton’s future workforce
By Dr Wirin Bhatiani
I think we’re all aware of the pressures on our NHS, both in terms of financial support and the increasing demand from the public.
Our population is growing and living for longer, with more health needs, so the demands on NHS services like our local hospital are also increasing.
As a health and care system in Bolton we recognise this and we are working on changing the way we approach those demands and improving health and care for our residents.
However, we also recognise the challenges within our workforce and having the right staff and the right amount of staff in place is just as important.
We are fortunate in Bolton to have good colleges and our own University which can help with nurturing our future workforce.
Bolton NHS Foundation Trust (FT) – the hospital – collaborates with the University on a range of health and care degree courses, including adult and children’s nursing and midwifery.
Students split their time between studying and on-the-job experience, with the chance to apply for a nursing post at the hospital on completion of their course.
This hands-on approach is invaluable for our future workforce as they get to see first-hand what the job entails.
It is extremely exciting that there will be further collaboration between the hospital, the University, Bolton College, plus the council, to create the Bolton College of Medical Sciences.
Built in the hospital grounds, the new college is expected to open in 2022 and is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.
The facility will provide a unique teaching and learning environment across all disciplines and professions.
As well as being able to grow and sustain a highly skilled workforce for the future of our NHS, this project will also attract wider investment and employment to the area as it is being developed.
And that has got to be good for Bolton!