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Coordinating a primary care apprenticeships programme

We successfully coordinated the primary care apprenticeships programme in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Background
The five locality training hubs making up Lancashire and South Cumbria Training Hub (L&SC TH) work together to form a multidisciplinary clinical and administrative team supporting primary care teams across the patch. They promote the positive benefits of diversifying primary care roles. MLCSU’s Improvement Unit provided project support to the apprenticeships programme by fulfilling the L&SC Apprenticeship Coordinator role.

Action
We worked with the Chair of the Training Hub to roll out, facilitate and promote apprenticeships within General Practice in line with the Local Delivery Plan. Including:

  • Facilitating regular intake of health care support workers (HCWs) from General Practice to the Trainee Nurse Associate Apprenticeship Programme
  • Offering support, advice and guidance to practices on the nurse associate role, application and financial/levy process
  • Co-developing and facilitating the first cohort for a senior HCSW apprenticeship
  • Maximising apprenticeship development in General Practice by promoting apprenticeships (of all types) at events, presenting the benefits and providing information to individual practice.
  • Supporting non-levy-paying practices in placing a member of support staff onto an apprenticeship by allocating Health Education England funding for priority areas.

Outcome
Thirty six new or existing staff have enrolled onto apprenticeships. This is helping to:

  • support succession planning
  • address the skills gaps in the workforce
  • aid staff retention and create continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities
  • increase the number of practices accessing apprenticeships
  • develop the primary care workforce
  • help practices understand the benefits and utilise apprenticeships.

Fourteen HCSWs enrolled onto the Trainee Nurse Associate Apprenticeship. The nurse associate role bridges the gap between HCSW and registered nurse helping to meet changing health and care needs. Nurse associates can increase the capacity of General Practice Nursing (GPN) teams in areas such as cervical cytology and long-term health condition clinics.

Six people enrolled onto the Senior HCSW Apprenticeship for General Practice. This apprenticeship provides highly skilled employees back in practice with a recognised qualification offering progression to higher/degree apprenticeships.

Twenty seven expressions of interest were received for apprenticeship development in L&SC Primary Care.
Sixteen new or existing staff enrolled across L&SC for HCSW, administration, and management apprenticeships.

The role of Lancashire & South Cumbria Apprenticeship coordinator has been a pivotal role in supporting apprenticeships in general practice, in particular in supporting the new role, the Trainee Nurse Associate as well as supporting communications around apprenticeships in general. Louise has been perfect for this role as she has embraced its innovative and new nature. She has become an integral and important part of our LSC Training hub Team and has delivered the project in its entirety in a professional and effective manner.
Lauren Butler, Chair of LSC Training Hub and Manager, Morecambe Bay Primary Care Collaborative