Published: 08/01/2004, Volume II4, No. 5886 Page 33

The NHS Unit at Derby University is designed to advise health staff on courses available to further their career development via telephone, its drop-in centre and website.

It will promote training to meet new requirements for nurses and pharmacists to prescribe drugs, as well as encourage health workers who have had no training since leaving school to consider basic courses.

More than 1,500 students are currently studying on health programmes at Derby University.Courses on offer include training for nurses, occupational health, pharmacists, radiographers and therapists.

Based at Derby University's Kedleston Road campus, the unit was officially launched in November by Derek Grover, deputy director of NHS University, the new education provider for the health service.

Training opportunities have been divided into three separate sections to meet the differing staff needs:

Step on: aimed at staff with a nontraditional academic background such as porters and clerical staff who wish to take part in basic training at further education level.

Moving on: helping people achieve accredited status, offering health workers and pharmacists the chance to study for access programmes, foundation degrees and degrees.

Continuing professional development: where qualified staff need to achieve new qualifications depending on their changing roles.