University of Leicester eBulletin

New Opportunity for Health Workers

February 2003
No 19

The University of Leicester and Loughborough College are working together to provide a new Foundation Degree in Health and Illness.

This degree will enable people working in, or aspiring to work in the health sector, to take the first steps on a ‘skills escalator’ which could lead them eventually to hospital consultant.

The degree will equip graduates with the skills necessary to deal more effectively with patients and will offer a route to further training in healthcare provision and ultimately, for those students who demonstrate the ability and the desire to continue, into training as doctors or nurses. 

The main target groups will include ward clerks, medical secretaries, junior administration and management staff, receptionists and others in primary care, as well as some groups of ancillary workers.

The new foundation degree, which is to be run by the University of Leicester Medical School and Loughborough College, supported by the University’s Institute of Lifelong Learning, is supported by the University Hospitals of Leicester, and local Primary Care Trusts.  

The provision of a ‘skills escalator’, giving health care staff a clear route for career progression, is in line with current government policy on the Health Care Workforce, for example, the foundation degree could eventually lead for some into graduate entry to medicine at Leicester via the Health Sciences route recently approved by the Joint Implementation Group of the Higher Education Funding Council (England) and the Department of Health.

Professor Stewart Petersen, Head of the University of Leicester Division of Medical Education, commented: “This is an exciting initiative which will provide opportunities for many staff to achieve their full potential in the new flexible NHS workforce”.

The University of Leicester was the only University in the East Midlands to receive prototype funds to develop Foundation Degrees. The involvement of employers and national training organisations means that foundation degrees meet national occupational standards and reflect the needs of the employment sectors.

Fiona Donovan, the Foundation Degrees Development Officer in the University’s Institute of Lifelong Learning said: “This is an important development for the University, which fits with the Government agenda on widening access and provides alternative entry routes for people working in the health service.”

NOTE TO EDITORS:   For more details about the new University of Leicester Foundation Degree in Health and Illness please contact Professor Stewart Petersen, University of Leicester Medical School Division of Medical Education, telephone 0116 252 3095, facsimile 0116 252 3013, email sxp@le.ac.uk. For information on applications please contact Janet Ruffoni, Loughborough College, telephone 01509 618384 / 618286, email ruffonij@loucoll.ac.uk

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Last updated: February 2003
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