Practice nurses and HCAs

Our experienced nursing teams are a key component in the General Practice workforce. Each member of the team has a vital role in the delivery of care to patients. Our nursing workforce consists of Health Care Assistants (HCAs), general practice nurses and advanced nurse practitioners. They are employed directly by 18 individual GP Practices in north Southwark. QHS supports these nursing teams through its two lead nurses.

Our nurses have the necessary skills and training required to carry out their role. We work closely with NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group training coordinators to ensure that appropriate training is available for nursing teams.

We strive to develop and train our nurses to deliver care that meets the local population health needs. A good example of this would be the training we have delivered to nurses and HCAs on the coordinated care pathway for patients with three or more long-term conditions.

All nurses are invited to attend a monthly nurse forum and protected learning time events. These sessions provide a great opportunity for nurses to network and share best practice as well as ensuring that they stay abreast of changes in practice at a local and national level.

Our clinical supervision groups will be startingin Spring 2018. These will provide time for nurses to come together and reflect on practice and think about how to develop their knowledge and skills to improve patient care.

We actively encourage our nurse mentors in local practices to take placement students from the local universities to give them exposure to general practice nursing, so that they may consider it as a career option once qualified. This will help us have a sustainable workforce to deliver care to patients in the community.

In line with the general practice nursing ‘Ten Point Plan’ within Southwark, we are developing the post of Preceptor. The overall aim is to develop confident and competent practitioners and to encourage recruitment and retention. Preceptorship should be available to all newly registered nurses, nurses new to general practice and nurses returning to practice.