Virgin Care sets up virtual student nurse placements during COVID-19

Romi Dhillon, student nurse, completing assessments online
Image from Virgin Care
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
1 July 2020

Student nurses in Essex who have been shielding due to COVID-19 will be able to complete their practical assessments thanks to online nursing placements arranged by Virgin Care.

A number of student nurses at universities in Essex were unsure that they would be able to complete the essential nine-week placement of their nursing degrees because of the coronavirus. Some quick action by Virgin Care’s Training and Development Department The Learning Enterprise and the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service team means that they will be able to attend placements virtually. Offering a full assessment period virtually is believed to be a first in the UK and these student nurses will now be able to qualify at the end of the year as originally planned.

21 students from the University of Essex and Anglia Ruskin University are now virtually attending various health visits, child developmental assessments and antenatal evaluations. Many of these students had been shielding during the COVID-19 pandemic due to pre-existing health conditions that left them unable to attend placements.

The virtual assessment placements have allowed student nurses to obtain the necessary 300 to 500 hours required (depending on their course) to qualify as a registered child, adult or mental health nurse.

Romi Dhillon, one of the student nurses who has benefitted from the virtual placements, said it is a “brilliant idea for those who are unable to attend a clinical area due to the pandemic”. 

She added: “This virtual placement is allowing me to continue practising towards qualifying. I look forward to learning on a one-to-one and group basis over the next eight weeks with the support from Virgin Care health professionals and gaining a real insight into their roles as health visitors and school nurses.”

Virgin Care has continued to deliver health and care services during the lockdown.

Visit Virgin Care to find out more.

Virgin Group has invested more than £75m to date into Virgin Care’s health and community services and neither Richard Branson, nor Virgin, has taken a penny of profit out of the NHS, nor do they intend to do so. Every penny Virgin Care has received has been used to pay for delivering services, including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals’ salaries, as well as being invested in transformation projects to improve the NHS. If Virgin Care ever does make a profit over and above its investment, the Virgin Group has committed to reinvest 100 per cent of that back into healthcare services.