Health Education England has named the trusts to lead work piloting the new nursing associate role, and confirmed double the number of people will be trained for the new position than originally planned.

Eleven sites have been chosen to deliver the first wave of training for 1,000 nursing associates from December.

An additional 1,000 people will also be trained in the role, which is designed to bridge the gap between healthcare assistants and nurses, as previously revealed by HSJ’s sister title Nursing Times.

HEE, which is developing the nursing associate role, said the number had increased due to “high demand from providers wanting to offer training places”. However, it did not say when the second cohort would begin training.

The 11 partnerships to deliver the first wave of training will be led by NHS trusts and include a range of organisations including universities, care homes, acute, community and mental health trusts and hospices. HEE said this represented the variety of places that nursing associates would work.

Trusts leading nursing associate pilots

London and South East

St George’s University Hospitals Foundation Trust,

Whittington Health Trust,

Barts Health Trust

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children FT

Midlands and East

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust,

Walsall Healthcare Trust

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough FT


Central Manchester University Hospitals Trust

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS FT

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust


Royal Devon and Exeter FT

HEE said it received 48 applications from potential partnerships across the country.

HEE chief executive Professor Ian Cumming said: “We are at a pivotal point in determining what the future nursing and care workforce needs to look like for now and in the years to come.

“I passionately believe that this new role will help build the capacity and capability of the health and social care workforce and allow high quality care to be delivered to a diverse and ageing population. Over the last few months we’ve seen widespread support for such a role – we will now move swiftly to make this role a reality and a success.”

Chief nursing officer for England Professor Jane Cummings, said: “It is important that we build a workforce to meet the changing needs of the people we care for. The new nursing associate role will be a part of a team built around those needs and will provide an exciting opportunity for those who want to progress their careers in the field of health and care.

“The new role also has clear benefits for registered nurses, providing additional support and releasing time to provide the assessment and care they are trained to do, as well as undertake more advanced tasks. This will ensure we use the right skills in the right place and at the right time.”

Ruth May, executive director of nursing at NHS Improvement, said: “The nursing associate role will be a key part of a contemporary multidisciplinary workforce. In my discussions with directors of nursing across England there is widespread support for the introduction of this role for health and care.

“I’m delighted with today’s announcement and I will work with the successful organisations during their pilots.”