Kent Community Health News

17 Oct 2019

Baroness Harding to launch Kent nursing academy

Baroness Dido Harding, Chair of NHS Improvement (NHSI), is to visit and officially launch a new nursing academy, this month.

The Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) academy offers a four-year degree-level course for anyone who wants to become a registered nurse (RN), along with a shorter two-year course to become a nurse associate (NA), with the option to progress to being an RN at a later date.

The courses are a new and innovative route into nursing where students can learn while they earn and combine work-based and academic learning with employment as a healthcare assistant. There is no cost to the student.  Both courses are fully accredited by the Open University and are thought to be the first of their kind in the UK to be hosted within a community NHS trust.

Forty three students joined the trust in February 2019 to begin their studies.

John Goulston, Chair of KCHFT, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Baroness Harding to the trust to showcase the work of the academy and the positive impact it has already had, for our workforce and the trust as a whole. The new students have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic, compassionate and responsive and aspire to the very highest nursing standards. Our academy programme has offered people who might not have been able to take the university route into nursing, the chance to achieve their dream.”

Baroness Harding will open the academy on:

Monday. 28 October 2019, at 11am

at Heathside Centre, Heath Rd, Coxheath, Maidstone ME17 4AH


Contact Information

Jane Barlow
Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust

Notes to editors

Dido Harding became Chair of NHS Improvement on 30 October 2017.  She is a non-executive director on the Court of the Bank of England and Chair of the bank’s Remuneration Committee. She was Chief Executive of TalkTalk Telecom Group plc from 2010 to May 2017.

In August 2014, Dido was offered a peerage and sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative peer. She was appointed to the Economic Affairs Committee of the Lords in July 2017.