General Practice Nurse Trainee Programme

 Barnet Nursing Programme:

Barnet Training Hub aims to ensure that our nursing workforce have the qualifications, skills, confidence and support they need to provide safe, prioritised, effective and evidence based patient care for the Barnet population. This is achieved by being the conduit for training courses, developing relationships to support, signpost, supervise and assess our local nursing workforce. Our educational team support all nursing teams, to have the resilience to manage and adapt to the changing primary healthcare landscape. We pride ourselves in the relationships we have built up over the years working collaboratively with all teams.

  1. Health Care Support Workers

The training hub encourages all practices to contact us if they employ a new Health Care Support Worker so we can direct them to both local and national training programmes.

Care Certificate training and assessment can be supported by our roaming mentor. Please contact the training hub for further information.

Useful documents can be found at the RCN First Steps Programme and Skills for Health.

  1. Trainee Nursing Associates:

The Nursing Associate is a new support role in England that bridges the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses to deliver hands-on, person-centred care as part of the nursing team. Nursing Associates work with people of all ages in a variety of settings in health and social care. The role was introduced in response to the Shape of Caring Review (2015), to help build the capacity of the nursing workforce and the delivery of high-quality care. It will be a vital part of the wider health and care team and aims to:

  • support the career progression of healthcare assistants
  • enable nurses to focus on more complex clinical work
  • increase the supply of nurses by providing a progression route into graduate-level nursing.

Barnet practices are hosting a number of nursing associates, who are training in practices across the borough, whilst studying for their courses at Middlesex University.  The course lasts two years and whilst studying the trainee nurse associates are mentored by nurse mentors within the surgery. There are currently seven trainee nurse associates in the borough

  1. Pre Registration Nurse Placements

Many of our practice nurses have supported student nurses placements in primary care. We actively encourage this and with the support from the training hub

  1. General Practice Nurse Trainee Programme

Since 2016 up to 35  nurses have completed the General Practice Nursing (GPN) programme within Barnet. This 12 month academic post graduate course in collaboration with the University of Hertfordshire (UH)  leads to a PgDip Specialist Community Nursing (General Practice Nursing). This intensive course allows students to work half the week within a GP practice and half the time studying.

We also support the foundation programme provided by (UH) leading to fundamental general practice nursing skills including childhood immunisations, cervical cytology, travel health and long-term condition management. The nurse is employed by the practice and funding provided for the educational component over 1 semester.

Both of these programmes are supported by monthly learning sets provided by our nurse leads which have been valuable in linking theory to practice and encouraged nurse retention in Barnet.

Up to 20 of these nurses  have continued to work in Barnet with some of them being employed 5 years post the GPN Training programme.

Those who have remained in Barnet are continuing their education in advanced roles, such as Non medical prescribing, advance nurse practitioner and assessors of learners. With these skills and the knowledge and experience gained these are the future nurse leaders in primary care.

  1. Advance Care Practitioners (ACP)

In order to increase the skill mix in general practice and to offer GPNs a career development offer, Health Education England have funded the ACP programme.  Barnet practices have supported upto 15 nurses to develop their skills further and thus provide an enhanced services to the population of Barnet.  Nurses with these skills can offer minor illness clinics, telephone triage and management of long term conditions thus reducing the demand on the medical colleagues.

  1. Nursing Fellowship

This is a new supported programme of development for new nurses in General Practice.  It provides funding equivalent to one half day salary to the practice to release the new nurse to take part in Induction activities, a preceptorship programme and ongoing peer support time.  Currently there are 4 GPNs on the Fellowship programme and we are really excited to be piloting this iniative which has previously been offered to doctors and have proven to be successful in retention of the workforce locally.

  1. Return to Practice Nursing Students

We are always looking for opportunities to expand our workforce and with collaboration with University of Hertfordshire have supported Practice Nurses who have had a break in their career return to the nursing workforce by providing them a placement within General Practice.

Georgina Marsden –