The University of Bedfordshire has launched a new midwifery apprenticeship programme this week in collaboration with Health Education England. The University is one of only three other universities across the UK chosen to pilot this tailored and focussed training scheme.
Approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), this programme is a shortened 21 month programme for registered adult nurses to train to become midwives. The apprenticeship model aims to engage and encourage aspiring midwives who are employed and supported by their local trust – and who may also have previously been deterred by the Government’s termination of midwifery and healthcare bursaries.
As part of the programme, the University of Bedfordshire has collaborated with three local healthcare trusts which will see the nine apprentice midwives working on placement at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital (three candidates), Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire (one candidate) and Wexham Park Hospital in Berkshire (five candidates), which is part of the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.
After a two week introductory training period at the University’s Luton campus, learners will begin placement at their assigned trust whilst also attending classes at the University one day per week. Their time on campus will cover the theoretical component of the course, enabling them to apply their learning to practice.
Carla Ball, Interim Portfolio lead for Allied Health Professionals and Midwifery at the University of Bedfordshire said, “Our department is very excited to kick-start this apprenticeship programme as we feel this will ensure the provision of sufficient midwives to care for women and families in the future.? The apprentices on this pilot course can expect to receive hands-on practical training supported by a team of experienced midwives in placement, as well as receiving guidance from an experienced lecturing team in the classroom setting.”
The University of Bedfordshire is also the only university to offer a shortened 21 month course, compared to three and four year durations offered at the University of Greenwich and University of West London (the other two universities chosen for the midwifery apprenticeship pilot).
Dr Louise Grant, Interim Executive Dean of Health and Social Sciences at the University of Bedfordshire said, “We are delighted to be launching the shorter 21 month apprenticeship programme for midwifery which has been supported by Health Education England and the NMC. Our midwifery team are highly skilled and dedicated professionals who will provide the guidance and knowledge our learners require to complete this apprenticeship. We look forward to reporting our findings from this pilot and are sure this innovative programme will positively contribute to the midwifery workforce for years to come.”
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