Northampton’s St Andrew’s Hospital links with University of Northampton

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A NEW postgraduate school has been created between The University of Northampton and a private hospital where students can specialise in mental health.

The University of Northampton and St Andrew’s Healthcare, which runs St Andrew’s Hospital, in Billing Road, are to launch a Postgraduate School of Mental Health and Wellbeing in the town.

Graduates will leave with one of two new mental healthcare qualifications and will be trained specialist mental health nurses.

Moira Ingham, deputy dean at the university’s School of Health, said: “This partnership draws on the combined knowledge and expertise of leading-edge clinical experts and experienced mental healthcare academics.

“Our partnership will help people to learn both in work and through work, thereby increasing skills in mental healthcare.”

Specialist fellowship posts will also be created in mental health; learning disability and autism; brain injury; and dementia.

A purpose-built learning centre is also being planned, which would be built next to St Andrew’s Hospital.

The new school is aimed at people who want formal recognition of hard work and studies as well as care assistants and senior clinicians who want to study for a PhD. Unusually, the courses have been designed and taught by St Andrew’s staff but are formally accredited and moderated by the university.

Clare Allen, director of human resources at St Andrew’s, said: “The new partnership sets out ambitious plans to create high-quality training that sets the standard for mental health and wellbeing education.

“That’s a good thing for Northampton and it’s great for St Andrew’s; having high-quality staff and creating excellent training opportunities means we can be sure of delivering the best possible services to patients too.

“Many of our staff graduated from the university, and some have research and teaching roles there now.

“By blending clinical and academic skills, we can create the very best opportunities for future healthcare professionals.”