SM重口 and Council of Deans of Health write open letter to Higher Education Institutions on developing social care placement opportunities in nurse education

26 Apr 2024

2 min read

SM重口 CEO, Oonagh Smyth, and Council of Deans of Health CEO, Ed Hughes, have penned an open letter in response to the escalating demand for nurses and nursing associates in the adult social care sector.

Recognising the critical role that Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can play in increasing social care nursing placement opportunities, Ed Hughes, CEO of the Council of Deans of Health, and Oonagh Smyth, CEO of SM重口, have released an open letter addressed to HEIs.

The letter highlights the importance of HEIs in providing a gateway for prospective social care placements and the recently published guidance by SM重口. This guidance, developed in collaboration with key stakeholders, offers practical insights and recommendations for fostering collaboration between HEIs and social care providers to support placement opportunities.

The letter states:

At a time where placement capacity is a growing issue impacting on the recruitment of nursing students, we know that there is potential placement capacity in social care. Whilst many HEIs already provide placements in social care settings, this is often under-utilised despite the wealth of opportunities and valuable learning experiences that the social care sector has to offer to nurse education. Growing this type of placement provision further would also help to fulfil the NMC expectation that all nurses and nursing associates at point of qualification can work in any setting.

Without the knowledge of how to approach Higher Education Institutions however, or a commitment from Higher Education Institutions to invest in and value social care placement opportunities, this capacity will be unable to grow. We would encourage all Higher Education Institutions delivering healthcare education to take the time to review their process for developing placements in social care including providing a clear point of contact for social care providers to provide a gateway for prospective social care placements.

The complete open letter can be viewed here.

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