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GPs go forth

Student nurses offered practice placements in bid to tackle shortages

A CCG is offering placements in GP practices to student nurses in an attempt to stem practice nurse recruitment problems by generating interest in the career.

NHS Solihull CCG took on a batch of six student nurses in their second year of training at Birmingham City University at six local practices where they will receive mentoring and training.

It said it was running the scheme to tackle the shortage of practice-based nurses and ‘woo’ more nurses into the profession.

The nurses will be ‘under the supervision of their mentors at all times’, the CCG said.

Organiser Kirsty Millard, the CCG’s practice nurse development lead and practice nurse at Hampton Surgery, said: ‘The placement helps the students get wider experience of different types of nursing. We are hoping to generate interest in practice nursing as a career.’

The CCG’s chief nurse Sue Nicholls said: ‘Recruiting nurses is now a challenge for both GP practices and hospitals. We need to inspire student nurses to pursue primary care as a career.’

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt recently used his ‘new deal’ speech to outline plans to recruit 5,000 more non-GP staff for practices, including nurses, physician associates and pharmacists, alongside 5,000 more GPs in a bid to tackle GP workloads.

Readers' comments (10)

  • Good luck recruiting,another 5 years of an effective pay cut combined with a pig of a job in or out of hospital will not attract the cream into this valuable part of the workforce.If it does how long will they stay before other parts of the world in this global market attract them.

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  • What nurse would want to work in a pile of shit?

    And if they do it will put them off general practice for life

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  • it certainly would put a nurse off for life, I hear poundland are recruiting

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  • I think the nurses at my Practice enjoy their work and working environment.
    I hope Solihull CCG is fully reimbursing the practices for the time taken to mentor and supervise these students, as we are for medical students

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  • One of the (few) attractions for general practice for nurses is normal working hours. It avoid shift work the hospital enforces and allow a normal family life.

    Good luck recruiting when Hunt enforces 7 day opening. What nurse would want to work weekend and evenings without any additional pay. I know a few who would rather go back to hospital for better pay and secure employment if this came about

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  • I hope that it is explained that a practice nurse is not working for the NHS but for an independent business and therefore Agenda for Change with all the terms and conditions is rarely offered to the nursing staff. I have friends who are offered 1 weeks sick pay a year and no incremental pay increases. If the nurse moves back into a NHS role,the years of working in general practice are not counted towards accrued service.

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  • The placement should get the national student tarif but It's very sad that the expectation is to be reimbursed for efforts to try and recruit nurses that the practice need to employ in the future. When will GPs realise that if we don't do something there won't be any practice nursing nurses soon???

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  • too little too late. we have known there would be a shortage of practice nurses by 2020. in my area they are trying the same stunt but practice nurses need to undertake gruelling mentor training at degree level. only the practice will be reimbursed , not the nurse ! i have been a practice nurse for 26 years & would not recommend it to any new nurse . i have not had a pay rise in 4 years ,my workload has doubled over the years but my working hours have not. too much red tape making us all wary of litigation. can't wait to retire

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  • Hi Sarah Didymus.
    Could you expand on your views as I am not sure what your point was?
    I think you agree that practices should be reimbursed for the cost of training student nurses.
    You then seem to disagree with yourself.
    Some clarity of thought here would be useful

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  • Practice nursing is a lovely job, but the politics and perception it is not NHS is ridiculous.

    We still have some GPs and managers who think they can choose not to allow their practice nurses to pay into the NHS pension, allow them the same holiday entitlement as GPs, and pay the same rates for same grades the nurses would get in a hospital.

    It wasn't that long ago I left one GP who was still getting away with giving his secretary 2 weeks leave a year! he asked me why nurses never stayed long.
    His wife the practice manager did not speak a word of English.

    Another GP gave the practice nurses computer away to his son. His wife was also the practice manager.

    A further GP was asked if he wanted a grade 5 or 6 nurse and the answer was "What's the difference?" I just want someone with experience but for the lowest cost.

    The last straw is a CCG lead GP attempting to write to the GPs in his area telling them there was no obligation for GPs to allow their practice nurses to attend training or meetings.

    Whilst we have some with the above attitudes to practice nurses, it gives the profession a very poor employment rating.

    In an attempt to address these issues the area have introduced a toolkit to advise GPs and managers how to treat practice nurses but there is no obligation to even read it, let alone adhere to it.

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