Sam and Rachel, both Practice Managers at GP surgeries in Essex, talk about our new nursing degree apprenticeships: 'A great opportunity for all involved'.
Degree apprenticeships are an innovative new approach to staff development. The GP surgeries we’ve been speaking to recognise the benefits they can bring, but often don’t have the time to explore how to get started in their surgery.
In our guest blog, we’ll hear from Sam Child, a Practice Manager in Harwich, and Rachel Maddock, a Practice Manager in Chelmsford, who are among our first smaller employers to engage with the new apprenticeships.
Sam researched the possibility of apprenticeships back in January 2017, and even then it was evident that their practice would see 'increased opportunities for promoting staff education and development, and enhancing the skills of the team that will ultimately benefit patient care.' She had no difficulties persuading the senior members of her practice, who all thought it was an 'excellent introduction to staff development.'
Sam would recommend any practice managers who are considering these alternative routes to nursing to take the plunge. 'It’s been very positive for all concerned', she said. 'It’s been a great opportunity for our staff; one we could not turn down.'
When Sam was asked what advice she would give to other practices who are about to embark on this scheme, she emphasised the need to 'ensure that you are supporting and developing staff that are committed to the surgery.'
Rachel’s practice already has a few years’ experience developing business staff with higher apprenticeships, with great results. Katie Killin, an administrator at the practice, decided she would rather work with patients. 'The degree apprenticeship opportunity arose, which was fully supported by the surgery, so we offered Katie the chance,' said Rachel. The benefits for the surgery were clear: 'It’s a chance to bring a new perspective and to expand the team. It’s great to give someone the opportunity to gain a qualification and experience they may otherwise not had chance to do.'
Rachel went on to say that 'the staff fully support apprentices and agree they bring a new lease of life into the surgery.'
When we asked Rachel what she would say to other practice managers who are considering these routes to nursing, she was incredibly enthusiastic. 'Do it! There are no negatives! It’s just a great opportunity for all involved.'
Rachel’s advice to other practices is to 'ensure the apprentice has a clear Nurse Lead who will be their go-to person, and also preferably a GP who they can look to for support.' She then added, 'Make sure they have enough time to complete their work.' Rachel is looking forward to seeing how Katie progresses with her degree apprenticeship and to 'help her become the best nurse she can be. Hopefully she will see our practice in her future.'
Why choose ARU?
As well as being the largest provider of health, social care and education courses in the East of England, Sam has found her journey and partnership with ARU 'an absolutely fantastic one in their ‘can do approach’ to apprenticeships. It has been encouraging to work with people that all want the same thing, the right people, on the right course, with the right support.' Rachel agreed that 'ARU have been very supportive and are a great team to work with.'
ARU’s higher and degree apprenticeships provide flexible training methods and focus on providing combined learning support between academic tutors, mentors and the employer. Sam chose ARU as it was 'the first university who was set up for the co-investment model in relation to funding and were ready to have an intake in September 2017.'
Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Director of Nursing, Health Education England (HEE), said: 'It is fantastic to see the nurse apprenticeship route being offered at Anglia Ruskin University. The development of the nursing degree apprenticeship standard is a key element of developing flexible routes into nursing for our health and care workforce.'
How to get started
Talk to our staff at Degrees at Work: firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer flexible apprenticeships for existing and new staff. We can help you recruit, induct and mentor apprentices and help set up your administration procedures.
What to know more?