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GP example: Staff skills, knowledge and experience
Key question: effective?
E3: Do staff have the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care and treatment?
A community interest company serving 10,500 patients in a deprived urban area.
There is a strong commitment for staff to develop their skills, competence and knowledge through weekly mentoring and an annual learning programme. Clinicians have weekly protected time for mentoring and use the sessions to discuss referrals, results and prescribing, and reflect on opportunities for personal development and career progression.
Staff are encouraged and supported by the practice to acquire new skills. For example, administrative staff were trained in customer service skills and nurses had attended a university-approved diabetes care certificate training course to fulfil their role in running the diabetes clinics. The health care assistant had undertaken flu vaccination training and was being supported to study for an assistant practitioner qualification.
Supporting staff to achieve excellence
A suburban practice with 12,700 registered patients.
The practice set up an apprentice scheme in 2008, which involves a two-year apprenticeship to gain a non-vocational qualification (NVQ) level 2 in business administration, and apprentices also have the option of gaining a level 3 NVQ. The scheme has led to 100% employment for apprentices, either in this practice or other local practices. We saw that one apprentice had developed over a number of years and had successfully achieved a supervisory role in the practice.
Continuous learning and improvement
A suburban practice serving over 11,000 patients.
There was a focus on continuous learning and improvement at all levels within the practice. For example, a newly-appointed advanced nurse practitioner (ANP) received a high level of one to one clinical supervision from the GP partners and her patient consultations were reviewed by the GP nurse management lead. The partners had plans to record patient consultations carried out by the ANP to ensure there was learning and continuous improvement in this role. The practice went beyond the scope of normal support and development of their staff. For example, three GPs had been supported to study for a Doctor of Philosophy (a doctorate degree awarded by universities). An ANP had been supported by the practice to take on leadership roles within and outside of the practice and been awarded the Queen’s Nurse Award in May 2016 for her strategic vision in chronic disease reviews, in-service learning sets for the practice nurses and the extension of the practice educational role to nursing students. The work that led to this award continued to drive forward benefits for patients and the local health economy.
The practice was proactive in managing, monitoring and improving outcomes for its own patients, and shared its learning locally and nationally within primary care. It did this by contributing to reports to the CCG such as the benefits to the health economy through the use of tap water rather than sterile water in the cleansing of non-surgical wounds. The practice had also published its research in recognised medical journals, for example, the diagnosis of Addison’s disease (a rare, chronic disorder in which insufficient steroid hormones are produced).
- Last updated:
- 11 August 2017