12 May 2021

Work has begun on a new school of nursing at the University of Chichester which intends to develop hundreds of healthcare workers by 2025.

The state-of-the-art centre, opening to students in September, will be run in collaboration with University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust and other health and social care providers in the region.


It will initially launch with a three-year BSc (Hons) in Adult Nursing, and will run alongside physiotherapy and alternative routes including health-related degree apprenticeships. The facility has received £1.2million of funding from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, as part of its plans to strengthen the region’s health and social care workforce.


Head of school Dr Nita Muir, herself a registered nurse of 30 years, will oversee the new degree programmes.


She said: “We will be developing nurses of the future – who not only demonstrate compassion and care, but courage in the face of extreme challenges, as we’ve seen across the Covid pandemic, and who possess superior digital skills for a new-era of British healthcare.


“Nursing today is a more complex environment than ever before and nurses take a much more holistic view of healthcare – from A&E through to end-of-life. We have specifically partnered with major healthcare providers across Sussex to ensure person-centred real-life experiences of contemporary nursing are integral into the curriculum to create a degree unlike any other in the UK"


School located in new multimillion-pound facility


The new facility, known as the School of Nursing and Allied Health, is located at the University’s Chichester campus in a large training centre – directly adjacent to St Richard’s Hospital. It is more than 30 years since the West Sussex institution, which was recently named a top-30 UK university, last offered healthcare degrees.


The 1,600-square-foot teaching headquarters is currently undergoing a multimillion-pound development. Once opened, it will be fitted with state-of-the-art clinical equipment in several mock wards to provide real-life simulation training for students and support clinical learning in various practice environments.


University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Longmore said: “This is an extremely positive development for Chichester and its region. The University has a proud heritage of training students for the professions and we look forward to the development of a new School of Nursing and Allied Health working with University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust and others Trusts across the region.”


The person-centred curriculum for the new Adult Nursing degree, which is supported by Health Education England, has been partly created by practitioners together with carers and service users from across Sussex.


The £1.2million of funding from Coast to Capital will not only help to boost the region’s health and social care sector, identified as Sussex’s highest-employing industry, but support the government’s pledge to develop 50,000 more nurses in the NHS by 2025.


Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital, said: “Recovery from the impact of Covid-19 will require intensive, tailored, and integrated employment and skills support in all places across the country and I’m delighted that our Investment Committee has approved funding for a new Nursing and Allied health school which will help to reduce the skills gap along the coast.”


The University has also partnered with a number of regional NHS, private, and voluntary health and care providers to support the significant amount of placement required for each student. 


Among those is the Sussex-based Valerie Manor nursing and residential care home which is owned by Zoe Fry, who is also the director of West Sussex Partners in Care.


She said: “I am incredibly excited for nursing homes in this locality to be involved in supporting student nurses to develop. The role of the nurse working across health and social care is vital so to be part of their development in this course is a welcome opportunity for us.”

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