North West CATS
North West CATS

Partnership with colleges benefits students and the community

September 15 2015

Students from universities and colleges around Greater Manchester will be benefiting from work placements with Care UK’s Greater Manchester NHS Clinical and Assessment Treatment Services (GMCATS), thanks to a partnership between the service and 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 GMCATS clinics are open 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm, working closely with local GPs and Hospitals to give NHS patients convenient appointments at convenient 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 GMCATS 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 cooperation 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.

Education and Training Manager, Edmarine McCalla, said: “We are delighted to be able to work with our NHS colleagues and local students in this way. As they learn from our staff, we also learn from them, through feedback and evaluations.

“We have an established role in Greater Manchester, both as a provider of high quality NHS healthcare and as a trainer of medical students. So far GMCATS have seen over a quarter of a millions patients and placed over 40 students. Some students have successfully applied for positions at GMCATS and are now permanent members of the healthcare team.”

One former student wrote to thank the musculoskeletal team for their guidance, saying: “I feel I have gained knowledge, experience and confidence which will help me in my quest to become a physiotherapist. Everyone was brilliant with me from day one and ensured my experience on placement met the goals I had set.”

GMCATS will continue to work with the local universities and look forward to welcoming the new students in September.