Nursing Associates Blog - August 2017 - Tom Owens

13 September 2017

Hello, my name is Tom Owens and I’m currently training to become a nursing associate at CWP.

Prior to starting the course I worked as a clinical support worker on Saddlebridge Recovery Centre in East Cheshire. This previous experience of CWP gave me a good basis for understanding the importance of person centred care, which I have become confident in delivering in each of the placements I have already completed.

Although I enjoyed working at Saddlebridge, I felt enrolment on this course would give me opportunities to develop my skills in a multitude of different settings. I have not been disappointed and have already experienced working in mental health, physical health and learning disabilities.

The first placement I had was on Croft Ward, which is an inpatient ward providing specialist treatment for people with dementia.

From my first shift on the ward I was immediately struck by the way the team worked together and considered each service user’s needs before making any decisions regarding their care. I now have an in-depth knowledge of dementia and how to support those living with this condition.

I am currently on placement with the Broxton Community Care Team, who have done everything they can to ensure my transition from mental to physical health care has been as smooth as possible.

I have learnt a variety of skills within this placement but most importantly I have recognised how a person’s physical health can affect their mental wellbeing. Therefore, using a holistic approach to patient care is vital. I believe this is where the role of a nursing associate is vital within any successful multi-disciplinary team.

With this in mind, it is clear that the nursing associate role, and the person centred approach to care that we are being taught, will add to any successful multi-disciplinary team.

Nursing associates will improve the skill mix available on wards and will be able to show support staff how to use their skills to deliver the best possible patient care.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me during my placements. Since starting the course I have gained so much confidence working within different settings and learnt so much already.

I can’t wait to enjoy even more exciting learning opportunities as part of this fantastic course.


Senior nursing team update: Avril Devaney, Director of Nursing, Therapies and Patient Partnership

The link between mental and physical health is something that we have already touched on in previous Nursing Associates Blogs and I am delighted to hear Tom describing so clearly  how he has now gained experience in, and recognises the links between both fields of nursing.

This is an essential part of the trainee nursing associate programme, which teaches essential skills in all aspects of care so that trainees are able to care for people holistically, rather than defining them by their condition or circumstances.

We fully believe in delivering person centred care and can see that the nursing associate role will make a significant contribution to this approach which will improve experience and outcomes for the people who access our services.

I look forward to reading future Nursing Associate Blogs as our first cohort begin their third placements.


Cheshire and Wirral is one of the first pilot sites across England to pioneer the new nursing associate role. Six local NHS Trusts, including CWP, are working closely with partners to support 44 trainees as part of the two-year course. Click here for more information.

To find out more about opportunities at CWP please visit our ‘Working for Us’ pages.



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