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Right Arrow Tony, flying the flag for our Southport Nursing Associates
24 July 2018 at 13:33
Tony Carson, a trainee Nursing Associate at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital and Edge Hill University, has been recognised and praised for his incredible dedication and caring nature.

Tony is halfway through a two-year apprenticeship to become a nursing associate. This new role is regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), and bridges the gap between healthcare support workers, assistant practitioners and registered nurses.

Previous patient and hospital consultant Douglas Hammond felt compelled to write a letter to Edge Hill University to explain why Tony’s care stands out: “Tony is an absolute credit to the organisation, he has the best interpersonal skills and he truly understands what it means to care.”

“By a quirk of fate, he looked after me when I was fairly unwell in February, and is looking after my mother on the ward where she has had a stroke. In a world where people criticise frequently, it’s nice to give positive feedback.”


Tony has been working at the Trust for 14 years after leaving his job in a care home to join as a health care assistant in 2004. His colleagues and senior nursing staff encouraged him to train to become a nursing associate.

He explains: “It’s such a privilege to be able to make a positive impact on patients during their stay. We know it can be a worrying, stressful time, so if people feel cared for then we know we have done our job.”

“I have been training since March 2017 and as part of that I attend Edge Hill one day a week. The rest of the time I nurse, which for me is ideal – spending time with patients is what I love about the job. This means I am earning a wage whilst training, rather than spending years at university full time. For me, this is a fantastic route into nursing, with many opportunities for career progression within the NHS.”

Nicky Williams, Corporate Lead for Clinical Education and Training agrees: “The nursing associate role is a fabulous opportunity for the Trust to invest in and develop our workforce.

“Apprentices follow a two-year, work-based learning programme. Successful theory and practice hours, along with a final assessment, will see the emergence of a successful nursing associate.

“We are incredibly proud of Tony and all our trainees. They are excellent ambassadors for our hospitals and Edge Hill University. We look forward to the celebrations as our first cohort qualifies in March 2019.”

For anyone interested in training to become a nursing associate, visit here.