The health and wellbeing of NHS staff in Wirral is a priority for Primary Care Wirral.
For this reason, the federation is launching the ‘Strong GP Nursing for Primary Care’ programme, which looks to develop a workforce strategy and educational training framework to support sustainable recruitment and retention in Primary Care.
Sue Smith, Associate Director in Quality Improvement and Workforce with PCW, is leading the project, currently in its research stage.
Skills Audit Surveys have been distributed among nurses GPNs and HCAs in order to gain a clearer understanding of their levels of training and specialisation, and to identify training areas which need strengthening.
This qualitative study will be complemented by exploratory research based on practice visits and meetings with staff members.
This is expected to highlight themes regarding day-to-day and cultural issues experienced by staff, serving as the foundation for future strategy development for nursing teams in Primary Care.
Their objective is to examine workforce challenges and opportunities across primary and community nursing, including cross-boundary working and the potential for the integration of GPNs and Community Nurses.
Sue is committed to overseeing change in the way primary care nursing staff work and wants to hear from nurses at the heart of the NHS in Wirral.
“Strong GP Nursing for Primary Care aims to gain an insight into our staff’s concerns and queries over workloads, training, career progression and patient care.
“At the moment, we have a global picture of the issues affecting recruitment and retention of nursing staff across the UK,
“However, although a lot of work has been done nationally, we need to look at the issues locally.
“We know that there is a great disparity in the way things are done from practice to practice.
“If we want to provide realistic and effective solutions for Wirral practices, we need to listen to our GPNs and HCAs directly and understand the unique characteristics of their working environment.”
The need for a new nursing strategy in Wirral is exacerbated in the current context, with the UK healthcare sector undergoing one of the severest workforce crises, with reports suggesting the situation is even worse for general practices.
The sector is currently perceived as a less attractive career option as a result of a lack of role, salary and employee benefit standardisation across practices.
Findings from the skill audits will be published in the near future, and if you wish to participate in the next stage of the research you can contact Sue on [email protected].