Future nurses will spend one year in local hospitals learning about direct care, in a scheme recommended by a report on the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust scandal.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) will trial the scheme at Queen’s Hospital in Romford and King George Hospital in Goodmayes, where potential nurses will work as healthcare assistants, it announced yesterday.

The trust says it is hopeful the scheme will improve patient care.

Due to start later this month, the trial comes the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust scandal, where poor care is thought to have caused over 1,000 needless deaths.

The inquiry into the trust suggests student nurses spend a minimum of three months working on the direct care of patients, including the elderly and involving hands-on physical care, under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Lynne Freegard, Head of Education and Learning, said: “This pilot project will be fully evaluated, but we think this could improve care for patients as well as giving would-be nurses the chance to find out what life is really like on the wards.”

She said the trust is delighted to be taking part.

Nine candidates will take up posts by the end of the month, each working on adult wards.

After working for a year as a healthcare assistant the candidates can then apply to be a student nurse.