Norwich GP surgeries to shut for half a day for training

Picture: Denise Bradley

Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: EDP, Archant

A new training programme for staff in most of Norwich's GP practices is launching next week.

It is called Protected Learning, and will involve everyone from the practices in the city.

The aim is to provide half a day of protected time when staff can take part in professional development - anything from learning new skills that will directly help look after patients to brushing up on the latest developments in healthcare.

And it's not just for GPs, nurses and clinical pharmacists – all of the practice team including receptionists, IT and admin staff will be invited to take part.

The first Protected Learning training will be on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 23.

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On that day, the 22 practices will be unable to offer routine appointments from 1pm-6.30pm, but patients who have an urgent problem and who need to speak to a doctor or nurse that day should still call their surgery. There will either be a message to advise what to do next, or they will be put through automatically to the local 111 and out of hours GP service run by IC24 in Norwich, who will be providing specially-commissioned cover.

The learning afternoon in May will cover a wide range of topics for GP practice staff to choose from, such as supporting patients who have had life-changing events and interacting with people who have hearing difficulties.

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Programme manager Gina Titman added: 'We're looking forward to bringing everyone together as one big team and enhancing skills that will help us be more effective.'

Protected Learning time already takes places in many other areas of the country, including other parts of Norfolk and Waveney and fits in with the much wider NHS programme of continuous professional development and mandatory training which everyone in the NHS is required to undertake.

Future protected learning events are being planned, approximately one half day every three months.

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