A Pathway To Somewhere

The history of what might be called routine measures in Primary Care over the last 40 years makes interesting reading.

Let’s turn the clock back 40 years when Dr Doe and Dr Roe were in practice together.  They were true general practitioners.  They did all the blood tests and vaccinations.  People with long term diseases such as diabetes and COPD (known in those days as chronic bronchitis) were sent off to hospital for continuing care.

District Nurses carried out home nursing and sometimes gave Vitamin B12 in injections.  The problem was that they were hidebound by regulations and effectively prevented from expanding their role.  This prevented them from, for example, performing phlebotomy and giving childhood vaccinations.

This led, in the early eighties, to practices employing their own Practice Nurses.  They helped with the computerisation of records (yes, this was beginning as well) and doing many of the routine tests.

Fund holding in the early nineties and the starting of educational bodies such as the Asthma Training Centre led to the increasing management of long term medical conditions within Primary Care.  Diabetes and Asthma Clinics were increasingly run by Practice Nurses. They also felt much more pressure on their time and came to rely more and more on specially trained Health Care Assistants who, with special training, came to perform phlebotomy, give influenza vaccinations, perform peak flow testing, run quit smoking sessions and perform the routine tests prior to, for instance, diabetes clinics.

The Primary Care Training Centre has acknowledged this trend and has developed with Teesside University (Times University of the Year 2009) five new courses that award academic credits. These are:

•    Phlebotomy
•    Wound Care
•    Influenza and Pneumococcal Immunisation and Vitamin B12 injection
•    Asthma & COPD
•    Chaperoning

The above courses are available from May 2011. Also available is our existing Understanding Diabetes distance learning course.

In the autumn we are expecting to have further training opportunities for Health Care Assistants on offer which lead to a Certificate in Higher Education (Cert HE); Primary Care (120 level 4 credits). This will incorporate the core module Primary Health Care Assistant, and students will be able to ‘pick and choose’ which other modules they want to do from the practical-based courses above.

Here’s where you can help! The University has asked us to establish demand for this pathway. If the pathway is of interest to you or your practice, please send us an email to admin@primarycaretraining.co.uk and let us know. Tell us how you might use it, or even register your interest now. If you have previously completed training that was unaccredited there may be an opportunity for retrospective credit. More details will be released on our website.

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