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South West London CEPN Activity Update

November 16, 2017

Community Education Provider Networks (CEPNs) were formed and developed under the premise of network theory. CEPNs are not stand-alone organisations, but rather entities which sit within several networks and systems. They are generally quite flat organisations, themselves sitting within a network of CEPNs, operating simultaneously very locally and strategically with potential collaborative advantage.


The 2 main incentives driving network involvement and collaboration are cited as relating to sharing resources (eg knowledge & ideas) and reducing transaction costs. The original premise under-pinning CEPNs was that they were to be ‘not-for-profit’ entities working to support primary care workforce development and transformation. The altruistic nature of health and social care provision in the UK lends itself quite well to the concept of the CEPN as a social enterprise.


Sharing knowledge and ideas comes with minimal overheads.


The first phase of CEPN development in 2014 was focused on setting up each CEPN as its own legal entity and establishing the network. This was followed by defining policies and procedures around CPPD co-ordination and taking the time to truly understand the strategic fit. We’ve come a long way. There are now 12 CEPNs across south London, with CEPNs emerging as critical to the delivery of primary care transformation. It is no longer simply about delivering training, but fulfilling a crucial role working with practices locally to deconstruct existing workforce models and consider new alternative roles and enhancements to existing roles. This is no small feat, but overtime “little by little, a little becomes a lot”.  


In South West London the 6 CEPNs are collaborating on several primary care workforce development projects which are certainly helped by sharing resources and reducing transaction costs. What has worked well in one area may well benefit another area with support from the CEPN.


In some cases, joined up working and collaboration makes sense. Here are some examples of current joined up working:


The Primary Care Medical Assistant Pilot


What it is: a pilot testing the competencies of the medical assistant role.

Why: medical assistants are a potential additional role to increase capacity within primary care, by reducing the administrative burden on GPs. This is not a clinical role. The trained medical assistant works under the direction of a GP proactively managing a defined caseload of patients. They proactively support duties such as referrals, follow-up appointments, test results and repeat prescriptions. Medical assistants are being trained to free up more GP time for direct patient care.

Who’s involved: 24 non-medical, frontline participants from practices from across South West London

What’s involved: a one- year training programme covering topics Communicating with colleagues, Managing Information and using Data, developing effective working relationships & networks, Managing ethical dilemmas and challenging people and The Health and Social care landscape (and more). In addition to giving presentations and facilitated group work, they will also have a practice visit day towards the end of the programme to learn about good practice taking place elsewhere which they might wish to embed within their own surgery.

For further information: india.peach1@nhs.net


The Primary Care Navigator Pilot

What it is: a pilot testing the competencies of the primary care navigator role.

Why: many patients access GP practices seeking information about other services. Care navigation is about having an awareness of services and information about how to access them. It is about sign-posting, but also the career progression of the frontline, non-medical staff member and therefore impacts upon primary care staff retention.

Who’s involved: 10 participants from frontline roles in general practice and from hospice.

What’s involved: a one-year training programme including either a customer care/ business apprenticeship or a competency based portfolio. Monthly facilitated peer support sessions aligned to topics and themes with guest speakers from a range of primary, secondary and community services. A number of specific training sessions in mental health, bereavement, cancer awareness as well as a ‘Signposting, Information, Advice & Guidance Fair’.

For further information: m.ashdown@nhs.net


Simulation Training Early Intervention & Prevention in Childhood Mental Health

What it is: inter-professional course aims to support front line staff in working positively with young people and their families in the identification of mental illness and promotion of mental wellbeing, through simulation training

Why? build confidence in managing challenging situations

Who’s involved: South London and Maudsley (SLAM) are working with the South West London CEPNs to offer this bespoke programme of simulation on dates through- out 2017 to multidisciplinary, multiprofessional teams working across primary and community care.

What’s involved: simulation training bridges classroom learning with real life situations. Using trained actor’s participants are taken through a range of situations which are filmed and then discussed and reflected upon afterwards.

For further information: james.pathan@slam.nhs.uk


Managing Clinical Correspondence

What it is: bespoke 1:1 training at the practice to review existing processes and put in place tools and protocols to enable more efficient document management processes.

Why? Over 95% of our practices surveyed requested organisational support with internal processes to help with document management to reduce the administrative burden faced by GPs.

Who’s involved: Initially Wandsworth, Kingston and Merton CEPNs, but now extending to the remaining Sutton, Richmond & Croydon CEPNs.

What’s involved: inhouse, bespoke 1:1 training at the practice to review existing processes and put in place tools and protocols to enable more efficient document management processes. The south West London CEPN network is working to harness and share these case studies across all areas. For example, one GP admitted a typical day would require a review of about 40 letters, which has now been reduced to 3 letters a day.

For further information: fiona@insightsol.co.uk or m.ashdown@nhs.net


South West London Community Pharmacy Programme

What it is: This is funding for community pharmacy workforce development. This is for developing all staff who work in community pharmacies.

Why? This funding has previously seen pioneering work across pharmacy in South London, including developing the health champion role, primary care navigators, and peer led leadership training. This year, the funding has now been split between South West London and South East London, with close alignment with each of the CEPNs. By bringing this closer to the CEPNs we hope to further align with the rest of primary care.

Who’s involved: All six SWL CEPNs, covering around 300 pharmacies.

What’s involved: One year funding, which will include a variety of training events, including  Health Champion training, development of the health champion role, leadership training, vaccination training, various clinical educational evenings, and much more.

For further information: Jacqueline.liu1@nhs.net


CEPNs & GP Trainer Groups

What it is: Funded by HEE, John Launer will facilitate a series of dialogue or narrative session encouraging conversations between trainer workshops and CEPNs to consider what we are each doing and how we might work more closely together.

Why? Many GP trainers do not know about CEPNs, or what it is currently doing. We want to improve the understanding between GP trainers and the local CEPN of the purposes and activities of both groups. To share what each is currently doing to support multi professional service development, education and training. To propose further development individually and jointly to support a multi-disciplinary approach to service, education and training. To consider and develop collaboration for future projects in primary care education and workforce development.

Who’s involved: Each CEPN across south London

For further information: john.launer@hee.nhs.uk


Establishing Nurse Preceptorship

What it is: Part of the Capital Nurse Framework; this workstream focusses on establishing nurse preceptorship in primary care.

Why? Evidence suggests having preceptorship supports retention.

Who’s involved: SL taking a local and sector wide approach. Each CEPN is working with their CEPN lead nurse to design a local preceptorship programme. Collectively, each borough (x6) will host a preceptorship session with all the preceptees focused on a topic/ theme aligned to the domains of the capital nurse framework.

What’s involved: Preceptee (NQN) is assigned a preceptor when they start their new role, with scheduled local peer support meetings and also sector-wide sessions.

For further information contact: olwen.minford@hee.nhs.uk (SEL) & mia.skelly@nhs.net (SWL)


GPN Programme 2018 (aka introduction to GPN, or GPN Fundamentals)

What it is: a university lead education programme to support nurses new to primary care covering the essentials rapidly and with mentorship support provided through HEE funding

Why?  A scheme which supports practices with training up their new nurse and supports recruitment into primary care

Who’s involved: all CEPNs and local HEI

For further information: mia.skelly@nhs.net olwen.minford@hee.nhs.uk


Some of the other initiatives we are working on at the moment:

  1. Paramedic placements in primary care

  2. Primary care workforce audit

  3. Supporting local CCGs with delivery of GPFW priorities

  4. Social prescribing project with HIN

  5. Development of the HCA career pathway (& possible apprenticeship)

  6. Working with STP on GP resilience

  7. Dementia training in care homes

  8. Urgent Care Fellows in primary care

  9. Practice manager development

  10. Domestic violence and victim support training in general practice

For further information on anything discussed here, please don't hesitate to get in touch.





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