GREAT Western Hospital has welcomed Oxford Brookes University’s decision to train more nurses.

The hospital is expected to benefit from the decision as the university’s teaching places are to rise to 880.

Oxford Brookes University feels the additional places would be a long-term boost to hospitals across the region as it means more potential staff will be available to employ.

The university currently runs nursing courses at its campuses in Headington, in Oxfordshire and Marston Road, Oxford, and at its Ferndale campus in Swindon.

The bulk of the extra nurses are likely be taught at Swindon, where the number of nursing places would rise from 400 to 700.

Oonagh Fitzgerald, the director of workforce and education at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is great news.

“More places for nurse training locally will help us to ensure high quality care for patients and support local people into a rewarding career in healthcare.”

Due to the planned large increase of nursing training in Swindon the university is looking to move to a bigger premises to accommodate the students.

The increase in local nurse training has also been welcomed by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Catherine Stoddart, the trust’s chief nurse said: “We are struggling to recruit. We know the issues.

“Recruiting from abroad is one solution. Getting more nurses trained up is another.

“We very much welcome Oxford Brookes University providing more places for nurse training.”

In recent months, GWH has held several open days with the intention of recruiting extra nurses.

And many of the university students who do placements at the centre go on to get jobs with the hospital.

To find out about training opportunities with the university visit