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Pioneering new nursing apprenticeships see 32 start their training, thanks to a unique partnership between the University of Bolton and the Priory Group

  • 32 health care assistants begin their apprenticeship to become registered mental health nurses
  • The apprenticeships are provided by a partnership between the University of Bolton and Priory Group, the UK’s largest independent mental health provider
  • Plan is to sponsor 45 placements every year

More than 30 healthcare assistants who work for the Priory Group begin their journey this month towards becoming registered nurses, thanks to an innovative partnership between the mental healthcare provider and the University of Bolton.

They will complete a BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health) Degree Apprenticeship programme while studying at satellite campuses based at Priory’s Roehampton and Kneesworth House hospitals.

Dr Jane Howarth, Dean of the University of Bolton’s Faculty of Health and Wellbeing said:

“We are delighted to be working with The Priory Group to further develop mental health and learning disability provision. Other areas of the Faculty are also discussing programmes with The Priory, for example MSc Advanced Clinical Practice. The University of Bolton has excellent partnership working in place in its highly successful School of Nursing and Midwifery, with more than 70 partners to date.”

The Priory Group has been running an apprenticeship scheme since 2018, and its new partnership with the University of Bolton puts this on a stable footing for the future. With this partnership in place, the aim is to sponsor 45 healthcare assistants a year to become registered mental health nurses.

Colin Quick, Priory Group Director of Nursing, Professional Development and Service Improvement, said:

“We are very proud to be able to announce our new partnership with the University of Bolton to provide a bespoke nurse degree apprenticeship programme for Priory Median. This will now mean that we have over 150 colleagues who have been supported to become registered nurses since 2020 through the apprenticeship scheme.” Colin Quick, Priory Group Director of Nursing

There is currently a nationwide shortage of nurses in the mental healthcare sector. The apprenticeship scheme is one of the many steps Priory is taking to tackle this.

As part of the arrangement between Priory Group and the University of Bolton, two qualified Priory nurses, Victoria Tracey and Catherine Stobbs, will teach for three days a week at the university for the next three years.

Victoria Tracey, a Priory Hospital ward manager, said:

“I have been a qualified nurse for 8 years, and I am really looking forward to becoming one of the first nurse lecturers seconded from the Priory to support the University of Bolton. I am grateful to be able to also share all of my experiences and support the future generation in becoming incredible nurses and delivering the best care, and supporting the recovery of our patients.”  

Catherine Stobbs, Priory Practice Nurse, said:

“I am delighted that I have been given the opportunity to work and support the new student nurses joining the Priory school of nursing. On a personal note, the professional development that I will have access to through the University of Bolton is vast. This is a wonderful opportunity and I am excited to start in September.”





About Priory Group

 The Priory Group is the leading provider of behavioural care in the UK, caring for around 30,000 people a year for conditions including depression, anxiety, drugs and alcohol addiction, eating disorders and self-harming. The Group is organised into two divisions – healthcare and adult care.

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