The Amalgamation & the last Director of Education.
When Project 2000 was first introduced into the English nurse education system it created considerable uncertainty and anxiety. Obviously the main focus of attention was on the actual training programmes but in human terms the changes did upset quite a number of people. People who, for years, had nurtured groups of students through training were concerned that they would not able to meet the ever increasing challenges which were being imposed upon them. One of the first indications that things were on the move was when Schools of Nursing started to amalgamate. Not every amalgamation resulted in one integrated building but individual sites located like satellites around the moon. Sadly, the changes created a considerable amount of unrest for the majority of staff and as a result some either opted for early retirement or went back into practice. It was the beginning of a time when a lot of extremely knowledgeable and experienced teachers were lost, never to return.
Rochdale, Oldham and Bury first amalgamated in 1988 to become the West Pennine College of Health. Although the names changed their original sites remained but students and staff were expected to travel to each as the need arose. After some internal competition the Director of Nurse Education from Rochdale, Mrs Kath Higson, became the principal of the new college and Mr Gerald Foy from Oldham retired (see above picture of Mr Gerald Foy).
From 1994 until 1996 the college changed its name again to the Northern College of Nursing and Midwifery. The West Pennine College did have a badge and I have been reliably informed that the Northern College had one too.