GP scheme welcomes nurses to Bedford clinics

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A partnership scheme between Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the University of Bedfordshire and London Road Surgery in Bedford to support student nurses into general practice has seen its first work placement student.

The training, skills and development programme for nursing staff was developed to tackle the national shortage of qualified nurses in general practice – the scheme has been running since October last year.

Cassandra Pinner, a student from the University of Bedfordshire, is in her final year of a three-year degree course.

Cassandra’s final year will be spent in London Road surgery under the guidance of a mentor.

Cassandra said: “General practice is an exciting place to be.

“I believe it is the best career pathway as I like the relationship I get to build with patients I see on a regular basis.

“It has a lot of scope and allows me to specialise in particular areas like diabetes.”

The Bedfordshire scheme will see better training and support for student nurses, practicing nurses as well as opportunities for healthcare assistants to up-skill and train.

The initiative enables students to work in general practice with guidance from a designated mentor – a trained practice nurse.

Spearheading the project, nurse tutor Carol Clapham said: “Cassandra has a great opportunity to develop in an area where the demand for nurses is high.

“Practice nurses and healthcare assistants are a vital part of the clinical team at a local surgery and are often the first port of call for patients.”