Trained Nurse Mentors are critical to the success of student nurses on placement so when Practice Education Facilitators (PEFs) in East Lancashire NHS identified a gap in provision within their area, CETAD was able to help. CETAD is the work based learning centre within the Faculty of Health & Medicine at Lancaster University and they have funding from the North West Strategic Health Authority to deliver CPD across the North West.
CETAD already had a Lancaster University accredited programme - the Assessment of Professional Practice and initial conversations with individual Trusts and PCTs identified that this had the potential to meet the gap in the Nurse Mentor provision. CETAD then explored the idea of collaborative working with the Trusts and PCTs and a subsequent partnership was formed. The partners worked closely together responing to the needs and objectives of the Trusts resulting in the course being enhanced to include both skills and procedural requirements.
This was an exciting new development and the first task was to gain NMC approval for the course. In doing this it was identified that one of the input days would be delivered by a PEF and the rest by the CETAD team. This was a new and innovative way of working with PEFs from different NHS areas delivering to groups of staff drawn from both Trusts and PCTs.
As the roll out of the programme began it was realised that this new course could meet the needs of NHS staff from disciplines other than nursing. The outcome of the collaborative work has been a generic multi-professional course which is being delivered on-site to Trusts across Lancashire and is suitable for all who act as mentors in a clinical setting. The course has been well received by participants and the completion and achievement rate is exceptionally high.
The benefits of multi-agency and multi-professional working have been immense and have encouraged a wide range of health care professionals to access the course. This in turn has enabled the sharing of best practice, understanding and improved working relationships between agencies which ultimately culminates in improving patients' heath care experience. In December 2010 The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) Annual report commented "The level of partnership working is outstanding and the inter-professional, inter-agency project model is worthy of further dissemination to wider audiences of nurses, midwives and allied healthcare professionals".