Barbara Johnson

Barbara Johnson MBE, Director of Nursing, Risedale at Abbey Meadow

Supporting Sectors, Skills & Economy

I approached the University of Cumbria in 2010 to request a bespoke Assistant Practitioner course at Foundation Degree level. The university was responsive and professional and totally understood the needs of Risedale to have block study weeks. So many universities offer courses they want to provide and not what the customer actually wants. This is definitely not the case with University of Cumbria who always go the extra mile to work in partnership with Risedale. We have trained over 80 Assistant Practitioners and now we are working together to convert these into Registered Nurses (both adult and mental health) via the apprenticeship programme.

Our Health Care Professionals (our carers) simply could not access traditional routes into nursing either academically or financially, this programme is a resounding success both for attracting staff to work for Risedale and increasing the local pool of qualified nurses. In an environment of acute nurse shortages Risedale are fully staffed because of this innovative programme.