A contract to test the skills and knowledge of nurses trained overseas and those returning to practice after a significant time away has been awarded to Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust – and it will be the only test centre in the country based in an NHS trust.
The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) part of the Test of Competence (ToC) is a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requirement and helps to ensure nurses are able to care for people safely and effectively.
The state-of-the-art testing facility, which will be based at Leeds General Infirmary from February 2022, will be able to deliver up to 7,000 tests per year. The facility will be accessible to nurses from across the country – it’s not limited to people in Leeds.
The OSCE is designed to enable nurses and midwives to demonstrate their ability to apply their professional knowledge and skills against the NMC standards of proficiency. It is designed to test practical clinical skills as well as the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of patient care.
Lisa Grant, Chief Nurse at Leeds Hospitals, said: “We are delighted to be awarded the contract to provide this testing centre. We are really excited that we will be the first NHS trust to run an OSCE centre in partnership with the NMC.
“The contract recognises the wealth of experience, skills and knowledge we can provide in a state of the art facility putting the candidate experience at the heart of what we do.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the local area in terms of recruitment, employment and investment. Along with Northumbria University, it also ensures that there are accessible OSCE centres in the north of England.”
The development of the OSCE centre supports the Trust’s goal to be a centre of excellence for research, innovation, education and specialist services.
The Leeds Hospitals centre is one of five in the UK. The others are Oxford Brookes University, the University of Northampton, Ulster University and Northumbria University.
Candidates will be able to book their tests from December, and further information on how to do this will be shared at that time.
Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive and Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to significantly increase our OSCE test centre provision.
“This additional capacity will mean professionals with the right skills and knowledge will have more choice in where to take their test, enabling them to join our register quickly and safely.
“I look forward to working closely with our test centre partners as we get our new test centres up and running in the coming months.”