Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is helping to tackle the national shortage of GP practice-based nurses by hosting its first group of students at six local surgeries.
Six student nurses in their second year of training at Birmingham City University are undertaking full-time, nine-week placements with Solihull practices - the first full programme in the region.
The move by the CCG is aimed at encouraging student nurses to follow a career in primary care.
Sue Nicholls, the CCG’s Chief Nurse, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome the first group of student nurses into primary care, which has a lot to offer them as a profession. 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.”
The practices taking part are Hampton-in-Arden Surgery, Yew Tree Medical Centre, Grove Surgery, St Margaret’s Medical Practice, Tanworth Lane Surgery and Craig Croft Medical Centre. The CCG plans to take another, bigger group of students and involve more practices in November.
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.”
Student nurse Sarah Yates, who is at Tanworth Lane, said the placement gave her opportunities for training in many different areas which would not have been available in a hospital.
“In the practice you get to know your patients,” she said. “It is different from working in a hospital because you see the same patients and build up a rapport so it is easier for them to talk about the problems they are having and, as a nurse, that’s nice.”
Photo: Solihull’s student nurses with Bernie St Alban (left), Senior Lecturer Birmingham City University, Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group’s Practice Nurse Development Lead Kirsty Millard (sixth from left) and CCG Accountable Officer Dr Patrick Brooke (right).