Student Placement

General practice is amongst one of the largest branches/specialities within healthcare, often being the first point of and acting as the ‘front door’ of the NHS for the majority of the population. Clinical placements in general practice will give students and learners an opportunity to be involved and participate in the fundamentals of patient centred care, further develop their knowledge and skills relating to caring for people across the age continuum alongside fostering an understanding of patient perceptions of living with long term conditions, illness and minor ailments. The placements will also enable them to further develop their knowledge and understanding of the role of other members of the health and social care team and their contribution to service user care, and that of their families/carers. It is a great opportunity to showcase multidisciplinary working and what the world of Primary Care can offer.
Benefits to the Practice
Supports career development and retention of existing staff
Several studies across the country have shown that Student and Practice Assessor / Practice Supervisor evaluations have been very positive with 90% of the practice nurses indicating they have furthered their professional development through supervising and supporting students and learners.
General Practice is particularly suited to supporting the development of students due to the a wide range of learning opportunities and types of patient contact that take place in general practice settings. GP training practices already have experience of supporting Advanced Nurse Practitioner trainees, GP trainees, foundation doctors and medical students.
Future workforce
Students are our future workforce, the next practice nurse, the next paramedic practitioner in your team and where better to encourage them to join primary care than to have a clinical placement with you (GPN 10 Point Plan,2017).
A recent study showed that 91% of students said that they were more likely to pursue a career in general practice following their placement in primary care. In Surrey Heartlands we are already seeing newly qualified nurses starting their careers as Practice Nurses following successful student placements.

Benefits to the supervisor

Placements help to engage the wider team, improve practice and support the wider workforce agenda. For nurses, it is part of the NMC code: Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses, midwives and nursing associates (2015):
9 Share your skills, knowledge and experience for the benefit of people receiving care and your colleagues
To achieve this, you must ‘support students’ and colleagues’ learning to help them develop their professional competence and confidence’
Being a supervisor is a rewarding experience and is a very useful way of keeping up to date with your own professional development, and it often provides opportunities for quality improvement in your place of work.

Benefits to the student

In line with the NHS Long Term Plan Primary care is undergoing huge change with the formation of Primary Care Networks (PCNs’) and the introduction of new roles. A placement will offer students the opportunity to be at the forefront of this giving the opportunity to fully understand the changing landscape in the NHS. It is also a great way to see, and be a part of, the general practice team and have an insight of the local population health needs within Surrey Heartlands.
Students will be able to observe, assist and undertake a multitude of interventions contributing to the well-being of the patients. Involvement with the wider multi-disciplinary team will be valuable in augmenting evidence required for all learning domains and will supplement the knowledge of many long term conditions, their symptoms, treatment and management.
In a primary care setting, there will be opportunities to learn about physical, mental and emotional health across all age ranges and healthcare spectrums, providing a platform to develop an holistic patient approach to health care. By experiencing this environment, the student will be able to work with patients and carers more closely and therefore will require excellent interpersonal skills and full usage of the 6 C’s.
Depending on the programme of study; they will be allocated a practice supervisor, practice assessor or mentor who will support you whilst on placement to achieve your learning outcomes.
Is there any funding to support placement activity?
Health Education England recognise the importance of placements in Primary care and offer a placement tariff to practices supporting this initiative.

What support does the Training Hub provide for preparing practices to take on students?

If you would like to support a student on a clinical practice placement, please do contact the Surrey Training Hub and we can help to facilitate this and support you. The Learning Environment Leads have close working relationships with our local Universities to help ensure students get a great learning experience and can work with you to identify the range and breadth of learning opportunities in your practice. We also offer a student orientation and information pack for general practice available to download from our website.
For nurses who have a previous ‘mentor’ qualification, we can ensure you are up to date with all the information from the NMC regarding Practice Assessor (PA) and Practice Supervisor (PS) changes (SLIP updates).
For nurses who would like to support students but do not have a ‘mentor/PS/PA’ qualification, training is available through our PS and PA workshops.
Surrey university offer PS/PA training  Check our calendar for PS/PA updates – also available online via surrey university.
For more information about student placements, please contact Kelly Slavin, Apprenticeship & Student Placement Manager:

Covid – 19 : We are aware these are challenging times. Please be reassured that all students in a clinical placement area have been risk assessed by their university and a placement in General Practice can offer a wide range of learning opportunities during this time.

Student Nurse " as Paediatric student nurses we often miss out on the experience of basic nursing care, most importantly wound care, being in this placement has increased my knowledge of the healing process and management of various types of wounds"
Lead Practice Nurse - Our Paediatric Students have gained a better understanding of the multi-generational family around the child, management of paediatric asthma as a long-term condition, greater depth of understanding of the routine vaccination programme for adults and children. As well as how to manage a consultation, working as an independent practitioner, and managing and structuring time within appointments. There is also the opportunity to see how we care for families with safeguarding issues.
We encourage our students during the placement to run their own mini clinics to do dressings, give IM B12 injections and BPs etc. Our current student is really enjoying managing her own clinics and a real asset to our team.