A UNIQUE one stop shop for the nursing profession has been officially opened in New Ferry by the Wirral South MP.

Alison McGovern, who cut the ribbon at LTC Global's training clinic in Bebington Road on Friday - where former nurses are trained to be able to return to the profession - said that in view of the coronavirus the clinic was definitely needed more than ever.

“We know we have a staff shortage in social care and I have been asking the Government to invest more,” she said.

As well as the specially equipped clinic, LTC Global has an office nearby on New Chester Road - both premises just yards away from the site of the devastating gas explosion three years ago - which the MP also opened.

“It’s good to see empty shops being used in New Ferry. Love to Care arranged for me to spend a day working at a nursing home some months ago and I saw then how hard social care staff work,” she added.

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The high flying enterprise has been established after specialist recruitment consultancy LTC Global joined forces with nurse training company, My Nurses Life (MNL), run by Helen Romnes, herself a registered nurse.

LTC Global owner, Mathew Alexander said, “I am delighted that the town’s MP agreed to formally launch the premises, which as well as boosting the NHS nursing pool has brought much needed jobs to this town.

“It is sad to see so little investment in this area which is still struggling after the explosion and I am pleased that our commitment to the area has been welcomed by the community.”

The training clinic, which mirrors a hospital setting, caters for 15 nurses at a time and later this month the company will be opening a larger one in Bolton.

The nurses take a five day intensive course to bring them up to speed for the competency exam - OSCE - leading to their re-registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

“The NMC has introduced the ‘Return to Practice’ scheme which has made it so much easier for nurses wanting to come back to the profession,” said Helen.

“It used to be that they had to to spend between three to twelve months re-training but now they can take our tailor-made course and after passing the exam - which takes place at three universities in England and Northern Ireland - we support them throughout the recruitment process.

“What is also unique about our service is that we provide on-site accommodation while they undertake the course. And if anyone fails the exam we help them re-sit it at no extra cost,” she said.

“Our centres provide practical as well as theoretical training and they mirror the university test centres, with clinical rooms, equipment and set up to make the environment more familiar.

“The prospect of having to sit exams and re-register can be off-putting and involves family upheaval but our training clinics with accommodation provided and recruitment expertise at hand takes away the hassle and means the trainees can totally focus.

“It also eliminates travelling costs and our ‘boarding schools’ mean they have somewhere safe and comfortable to relax at night and they can discuss what they have learnt together,” said Helen.

“Recent figures suggest that 200,000 nurses have left the NHS since 2010 and the government plans to bring back 50,000 nurses, though we know there are 70,000 vacancies.

“We all hope the coronavirus will not turn out to be a huge epidemic but we are currently facing a perfect storm of staff shortages and quite frankly I would say to any former nurse ‘this country needs you’ and it is now so much easier to come back,” added Helen.

Mr Alexander, himself a former nurse, said, “It makes sense to me that those who have already had training and experience should be encouraged to return. The tax payer has paid thousands of pounds for their training and if they can be encouraged to return to practice it is a win-win situation.

“Our aim is to tackle the nationwide shortage of nurses in the UK healthcare sector. The top class training courses provided by MNL enable nurses to get back to work quickly and they have an impressive 98% pass rate, which is exceptional. We are also bringing in overseas nurses.”