Northamptonshire is set to become the first area in England to begin a brand new training programme preparing nurses for careers in general practice.

The work-based education scheme is for registered nurses – including those who are newly qualified or looking to return to work – and is the latest innovative project from Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership to support our county’s GP practices.

Under the training programme, which starts at the end of January 2019, 10 successful recruits will be given paid roles at Northamptonshire practices run by Lakeside Healthcare and the 3Sixty Care Partnership GP federation.

There they will learn practical clinical skills while working under supervision and being mentored by experienced practice staff.

At the end of the programme they will receive a qualification covering core practice nursing skills – as well as being thoroughly prepared through practical experience to start their career as a general practice nurse.

Catherine Wills, primary care workforce programme manager for NHCP, said: “We’re totally committed to helping our GP practices in Northamptonshire develop the workforce of the future, and it’s hugely exciting for our county to be the drivers of such an exciting and innovative project. We hope our work will set a successful template for other areas to follow in the future.”

The pilot training programme is being funded by NHS England and Health Education England.

The recruitment campaign, promoted through our joint Best of Both Worlds initiative, has been hugely successful with more than three applications received for each training post available.

Shortlisted candidates attended a recruitment morning in December where they had the chance to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through speed interviews and team activities.

Due to the high levels of interest in the scheme, all candidates meeting essential criteria who have not gone forward to the training programme will be invited to a follow-up session to support them in applying for other general practice nurse vacancies. This will help to maximise the impact of the campaign and address some further gaps in the workforce across the county.