A joint project set up by the University of Worcester and St Richard’s Hospice has been nominated for a Nursing Times award.

The initiative, ‘Helping student nurses be the best they can be’, provides student nurses across all fields of practice with the opportunity to undertake a structured palliative care placement with the hospice, which is based in Worcester, and enjoys a close relationship with the university.

The project has been nominated for the Cancer Nursing award at the prestigious Nursing Times Awards, which recognise and celebrate excellence in the industry.

Jane Nicol, senior lecturer at the University of Worcester explains: “The aim of the project is to increase the knowledge, skills and confidence of students in relation to caring for people, and their families, who are receiving palliative care.

“Through the use of a multi-professional approach, all members of the palliative care team are included, and a bespoke education and practice experience can be provided to suit the individual needs of the students taking part.

“This approach allows us to ensure that the students’ learning needs have been addressed promoting a valuable learning experience.

"It is very much an equal partnership between the University and St Richard’s, with both organisations contributing to the overall success of the experience.”

Vanessa Gibson, clinical nurse specialist team lead at St Richard’s, added: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted in such a highly regarded awards programme.

"We recognise that as specialist community nurses we can do more to support and influence nurses of the future and therefore ensure more patients receive a skilled palliative approach.

“This project was a great team effort across the organisation with departments willingly contributing much time and effort.”

One of those students to take part in the initiative was Claire Porter, who is in the second year of her course.

She said: “I found this experience to be interesting, informative and thought provoking.

“All three days fitted so well with my hub placement in Oncology and contributed both to my theoretical knowledge of palliative care and my understanding of the holistic needs of patients and their families at end of life.

"I would highly recommend it to fellow students.”

The nomination is the latest achievement for the University’s Nursing provision.

Worcester has featured in the nominations for the Student Nursing Times awards for each of the last three years, and has earned praise from regional and national health chiefs.

The winners of the 2015 Nursing Times awards will be announced on Thursday, November 12 at London’s Grosvenor House.