WIGAN and Leigh College has unveiled a new nursing training centre this week.

The Clinical Skills Centre was officially opened by Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) assistant director of nursing Amanda Cheesman at its Parsons Walk Centre in Wigan.

The centre has been built to replicate a fully-equipped medical ward and provide students with the opportunity to face real life medical situations and improve their technical skills.

The college has worked closely with WWL to deliver a pre degree nursing programme and a range of clinical care apprenticeships.

Ms Cheesman said: “As a local health economy we want to grow our own nurses and create a pipeline of young people coming into the profession.

"The "grow your own" schemes are long term plans that aim to retain local nurses with incentives which will make them feel more nurtured and committed and more likely to stay local.

“The partnership we have with the college is beneficial to the NHS because it is great for patient safety as the students get to practice skills before getting out onto the wards and they will consolidate the skills they have learnt when they become nurses.”

Health and social care is the largest employment sector in the borough across a range of occupations with many of them being highly skilled.

Principal of Wigan and Leigh College Anna Dawe added: “We are delighted that Amanda could officially open the Clinical Skills Centre.

"As a college we are passionate about developing the future workforce while addressing skills shortages within this sector.

"We provide our students with outstanding opportunities for successful careers and it is important that they have access to the very best facilities in which to develop their skills and knowledge.

“We aim to offer much more than just a course and the partnership between expert tutors and the NHS, along with outstanding facilities gives our students a real head start and makes them stand out."

Health and social care students at the college are also celebrating after receiving university offers to study a range of specialist subjects such as midwifery, mental health, adult and paediatric nursing degrees.

Pre-degree nursing students have also received offers from universities as well.