With the NHS and health sector under increased pressure during these unprecedented times, Sunderland College continues to lead the way in producing the next generation of frontline health care professionals.

Challenging the growing skills gap across the region, Sunderland College has invested in state-of-the-art facilities such as its Health Hub at Bede Campus to provide outstanding facilities for its students.

Featuring a three-bed hospital ward, treatment room and sluice area with patient mannequins, a self-contained apartment to mirror a modern home care environment, mock ambulance interior and real care infant simulators among other industry standard facilities, the college ensures students gain vital skills and experience within professional working environments.

In 2017, more than 96% of health and social care graduates progressed to employment or further study, such as Leah, who now works at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

“I have always wanted to be a nurse and make a difference to people’s lives,” she says.

“I started off as an apprentice which combined studying with working as a healthcare assistant on the trauma and orthopaedics ward.

“I was then offered a permanent position, assisting the nurses with discharging patients. I am proud of what I do and health care is a profession I want to progress in and do for the rest of my life – I’m now looking into studying a nursing degree.

“I owe my growth in confidence to my tutor at Sunderland College and working at the hospital. The environment at the college is very welcoming and the tutors are so supportive.”

The college’s links with employers such as the NHS, Care Academy, Ashford Orthodontics, Age UK, Washington Mind and St Benedict’s Hospice, further helps
students get career ready and gain real work skills.

“I look at the Sunderland College students being put through their paces and I see ready-made healthcare professionals,” adds Lance Gardner, Clinical Director
and Chairman at social care provider, Be Caring.

“As an employer, I could take on any one of these young people and know that Be Caring is welcoming a highly-trained and motivated professional.”

Almost 90,000 health care roles were expected to be available in the region in the coming years but, following the devastating outbreak of COVID-19, the specialist skills of health and social care professionals will be in higher demand than ever before.

Education Partnership North East CEO, Ellen Thinnesen, who is also a qualified nurse, said: “The dedication of outstanding health care professionals in the current challenge is admirable. I am proud that we are ensuring that the workforce of the future is enhanced with highly-trained and committed individuals.”


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