SALISBURY NHS Foundation Trust is making changes to the way nursing assistants are recruited and trained with the aim of enhancing knowledge and skills and helping them in their career progression.

Under the changes, new nursing assistants will be working towards a formal recognised QCF Diploma in Health and Social Care.

During training they will receive payment in line with the national NHS Agenda for Change pay system, which is significantly greater than the current national apprenticeship rate.

While the minimum period for completion of the course is one year, most are expected to take up to 18 months.

Tracy Nutter, director of nursing at the hospital, said: “This move will ensure that new nursing assistants have a more thorough and rigorous training programme in place, increasing their skills and confidence and providing them with greater career opportunities in the future.”