We have transformed a former staff social club in the grounds of the Royal Lancaster Infirmary into a brand new education and training facility for nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and student nurses.

The club, which was previously owned and run by staff, closed in 2015 and has since been used as a storage facility. Now, the social club trustees and staff have generously gifted the deeds and ownership of the building back to the ownership of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust on the condition that the building is used as a nurse training facility to help train nurses and ultimately, improve patient care.

In addition, the trustees and staff members also made a donation to Bay Hospitals Charity, the official charity of UHMBT to allow the charity to purchase new computers for the centre.

The education and training centre has been fully renovated and refurbished and is a first for the Trust. It includes a large open-plan practical teaching room with resources for training nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and nursing students.

Joann Morse, Director of Nursing at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The last 12 months has seen many changes to the way nurses can come to the UK to practice and obtain their Nursing and Midwifery Council registration. Once a nurse from overseas joins our Trust, they are required to undergo a set of extensive tests and training which takes around four months before they are ‘ward ready’.

“The first part of the test is a computer-based test. If successful, the applicant then takes a structured clinical examination (known as an OSCE exam) which involves taking and successfully completing a set of competences, which tests applicants’ skills, knowledge and behaviors in a simulated practice environment.

“The new centre will allow us to bring our much-needed home-grown nurses and nurses we recruit from overseas through the centre and ensure that they are ready to be allocated to caring for patients on our wards as quickly as possible.

“The Capital services team have done an absolutely fantastic job and it’s amazing to see how the old social club has now been given a new lease of life which will support nurse education and training and, ultimately benefit patient care for years to come. It’s a meaningful legacy that has been left by the social club committee and staff members, and on behalf of everyone at the Trust, I’d like to thank them for their extremely generous gift."