English Language Teaching Unit establishes link with Kettering Hospital

On April 15th, the English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) started a 12-week programme delivering English for Nurses classes to international nurses working at Kettering General Hospital. Tutors from the ELTU will deliver a bespoke programme at the hospital, helping the nurses to reach the appropriate English language level in order to allow them to progress their nursing careers in the UK.

The course is being funded by Health Education East Midlands and is an example of the Health Education England (HEE) Commissioning and investment Plan 2016-17 in practice: by 2020 HEE plans to enable 80,000 more healthcare workers to work in the NHS.

Karen Birch, the lead nurse in Practice Development at the hospital commented that: “This joint venture is tremendous opportunity for our nurses. They are highly motivated and have described the classes as being very different to English classes that they have experienced previously. They’ve been raving about the teachers and how much fun they made learning – something that is really important when they are studying on top of a heavy workload and when the stakes are high.”

Initially the programme will involve 16 nurses but it has already been agreed that further programmes will run in July and October. Philip Horspool, Director of ELTU, says that: ‘’This is a new venture for ELTU and one that we are very pleased to undertake.  Many of the nurses are very close to meeting the National Midwifery Council’s requirement of achieving IELTS 7 in all modules and we are confident that we can help these nurses reach their goal while having a positive impact on recruitment at Kettering General Hospital.’’

It is hoped that other local hospitals and NHS trusts might offer similar programmes and the ELTU programme will be an attractive option for them.