The Royal Marsden

Lifelong learning: our education and training

The Royal Marsden fosters a culture of continuing education and training, ensuring that our staff has the qualifications and skills to provide exceptional care
Kate Young, Clinical Research Fellow

Kate Young, Clinical Research Fellow


staff given financial support and study leave in 2016-17

Education and training are top priorities at The Royal Marsden. Not only is a skilled workforce key to delivering the best care and treatment, but offering continuous development is also vital to attracting and retaining staff and ensuring that we continue to provide an exceptional service for patients.

The recent Care Quality Commission report cited the Trust’s investment in education and training as ‘outstanding practice’, highlighting our culture of lifelong learning and investment in staff development. Much of our specialist education and training is delivered through The Royal Marsden School, the leading provider of modules and qualifications in cancer care in England for healthcare professionals from across the UK and around the world.

Our new strategy, Building Educational Excellence, sets out how we will underpin our patient care, research and service delivery through world-class education.

Over the next year, we will introduce a flagship leadership and management development programme; create new educational pathways and clinical skills training to support new models of care; develop advanced practice and extended roles; establish career development support and frameworks for all staff groups; and expand our use of learning technology, including further investment in simulation.

Here, three Royal Marsden colleagues explain how they are being supported in their development.


staff supported onto MScs and PhDs in 2016-17

Kate Young

Clinical Research Fellow

“I’m studying for a Doctor of Medicine (Research) (MD(Res)).

“I’m working on two translational studies in cancers of the pancreas. One uses new molecular technologies to try to determine how aggressively a patient’s neuroendocrine cancer will behave and how best to treat it. The other uses similar approaches to describe the presence and significance of various molecular markers in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

“I’m in a clinic once a week so I can keep my clinical practice up to date, and spend the rest of my time in the lab or our research office. I have two children and work four days a week.

“To undertake research with some of the world’s leading clinicians, paid for by the Trust, and fit it around family life is a privilege. It shows the value the Trust places on developing its people.”


staff started on national pilot of new Nursing Associate Training Programme in 2016-17

Lorraine Guinan

Matron/Nurse Practitioner

“I joined the Trust in 2009 as a Head and Neck Clinical Nurse Specialist and completed my Masters of Science (MSc) Advanced Nurse Practitioner (Cancer Care) degree through The Royal Marsden School.

“Since November 2015, I have been a Matron across Chelsea’s Admission and Pre-assessment UnitClinical Assessment UnitOutpatients Department, and Rapid Diagnostic and Assessment Centre. I also oversee the Chelsea site practitioners who manage bed allocation and emergencies.

“The support The Royal Marsden provides is fantastic, from the School itself to the Trust allowing staff to take study leave and managerial support of continued professional development. In 2010, I became a non-medical prescriber and I have completed an Emerging Clinical Leaders Course in The King’s Fund, funded by the Trust.

“I urge my teams to make the most of the available education and training. Professional development motivates nurses and ultimately improves patient care.”

Josy Johnson

Trainee Nurse Associate

“I moved from Portsmouth to London to join The Royal Marsden purely because of its reputation for training and education. I believe that if you want to be the best, you should be trained by the best.

"In April this year, I joined the new pilot scheme at The Royal Marsden, which is training healthcare assistants to become nurse associates. I study one day a week in The Royal Marsden School and otherwise I work on Ellis Ward. The course lasts for two years, when I’ll gain a foundation degree and move from a Band 3 role to a new Band 4 nurse associate role.

After a year in this role, I plan to do a nursing degree to become a qualified nurse.”