Students from universities and colleges around Greater Manchester are benefiting from work placements with Care UK’s Greater Manchester NHS Clinical and Assessment Treatment Service (Greater Manchester NHS CATS), thanks to a partnership with local educational institutions.
The service, which Care UK set up in 2009, gives students a chance to work alongside teams in its mobile clinical units and static locations. The mobile units rotate between various locations across Greater Manchester, including Bolton, Belle-Vue, Denton, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford and Stretford. The static locations include clinics at health centres, hospitals and leisure centres.
The Greater Manchester NHS CATS clinics are open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm, working closely with local GPs and hospitals to give NHS patients convenient appointments at easy to access locations. The collaboration, with the University of Salford, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester, began because of a regional lack of work placements for students. More placements were urgently needed and so the Greater Manchester NHS CATS team volunteered.
The first placements created were for nursing students and opportunities for students training to be physiotherapists followed. The placements provide invaluable learning and work opportunities for students, building co-operation between NHS and non-NHS services to offer students a range of experience.
Each student is assigned to a unit and supervised over their placement period of four to 10 weeks by trained professional clinicians. In addition to nursing and physiotherapy placements, audiology and podiatry students now also take part.
Edmarine McCalla, education and training manager at Greater Manchester NHS CATS, said: “We’re delighted to be able to work with our NHS colleagues and local students in this way. As they learn from our team members, we also learn from them, through feedback and evaluations.
“We’ve an established role in Greater Manchester, both as a provider of high quality NHS healthcare and as a trainer of medical students. So far we’ve seen over a quarter of a million patients and placed over 40 students. Some students have successfully applied for positions with us and are now permanent members of the team.”
One former student, Michal Angerman had a work experience placement there while studying podiatry at university and the experience has led him to his dream job: helping patients from around Greater Manchester recover from injury.
Michal had already qualified as a physiotherapist when he enrolled in a podiatry degree course at the University of Salford. During his final year he was offered a six-week placement at Greater Manchester NHS CATS.
“It was wonderful,” he recalled. “I shadowed professional podiatrists and physiotherapists as well as the service’s musculoskeletal (MSK) consultants. They were all very good and welcoming. They included me in their discussions and listened to my opinions. It was an exceptional opportunity and it increased my confidence in the subject, which helped me with my studies. The team were very forward thinking and it showed me a different side to podiatry.”
Michal had impressed the team during his placement and, as it came to an end, he was invited back to the service for an interview and was successful in being offered a permanent place on the team.
Greater Manchester NHS CATS will continue to work with the local universities and its team is welcoming students throughout the academic year.
Photo caption: Michal Angerman who joined Care UK after studying podiatry at the University of Salford.