Lecturers from Kingston University and St George’s, University of London are set to take on a key role in a programme to modernise nursing and midwifery training in Gibraltar.
The Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) has commissioned the Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences, run in partnership by the two institutions, to provide educational support for student nurses and qualified staff based in the British overseas territory.
The GHA’s Director of Nursing and Patient Services, Dr Karen Norman, said the authority had been impressed by Kingston and St George’s original ideas and flexible approach to meeting specific local needs.
“What made the two institutions really stand out from the other candidates on our shortlist was their dynamic approach to delivering as much training in Gibraltar as possible, meaning nurses wouldn’t have to spend long periods away from home,” Dr Norman said.
“Tapping in to the teaching excellence of these two leading London institutions will enhance the care of our patients by broadening the skills of both trainee nurses and more experienced staff.”
The GHA provides healthcare services to more than 27,000 Gibraltarians and runs the territory’s state-of-the-art St Bernard’s Hospital, which opened its doors in February 2004.
Exact arrangements are still being fine-tuned, but it is likely that staff from Kingston and St George’s will travel to Gibraltar for short periods during the academic year to work alongside lecturers delivering the pre-registration programme.
The Faculty representatives will be heavily involved in deciding on course structure and will monitor the quality of training on offer for prospective nurses.
The territory’s 370 qualified nursing staff will also be able to take advantage of Kingston and St George’s post-registration and midwifery training programmes, some of which will be taught in Gibraltar and others in London.
The Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences is already one of the largest National Health Service training providers in the United Kingdom.
Dean Professor Fiona Ross said its success in securing the prestigious Gibraltar Health Authority contract demonstrated the high regard in which its expertise in skills development was held.
“The Faculty’s strong record in interprofessional training will stand us in good stead as we assist Gibraltar’s healthcare providers in achieving their goal of modernising nursing practice,” she added.