Resources & FAQs

Resource 01

Care Certificate: All you need to know

Officially launched in March 2015, the Care Certificate is an identified set of standards that health and social care workers adhere to in their daily working life.

Designed with the non-regulated workforce in mind, the Care Certificate gives everyone the confidence that workers have the same introductory skills, knowledge and behaviours to provide compassionate, safe and high quality care and support.

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Resource 01

Clinical Students Indemnity while they are in GP Placements

We understand there is a need for some clarification about indemnity cover requirements for pre-registration students from all clinical disciplines while they are in general practice placements. Clarification has previously been distributed about Physician Associate students and to an extent for nursing students, but this guidance has not previously been provided for other disciplines such as student pharmacists. This article sets out guidance which can apply to all clinical students.

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Resource 01

GP Trainer: Becoming a GP Educator

Many of those who have been a GP for a few years consider the possibility of extending their role and becoming a GP teacher; either at Undergraduate or Foundation level or as a Trainer of GP Speciality Registrars. There is an expectation that all doctors should be involved with teaching, (‘Good medical practice GMC 2006’). For some, teaching becomes more than an expectation and develops into an important part of everyday practice and a lifelong skill.

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Resource 01Transition to General Practice Nursing

The Queens Nursing Institute has launched a free online learning resource to support nurses who are new to General Practice. ‘Transition to General Practice Nursing’ covers 10 chapters and is based on the knowledge and expertise of nurses and educators working in the profession.

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Resource 01

How to join the National Performer List (NPL) in Essex

The Performers Lists provide assurance to prospective employers that the performer is suitable and eligible to undertake services and for this reason is included as part of the suite of pre-employment checks undertaken.

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What does a General Practice based pharmacist do?
It is no secret that there is a current shortage of GPs in the UK. As such, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) are promoting the concept of General Practice based Pharmacists to relieve some of the pressures general practice are faced with. So, what does a General Practice based Pharmacist do?
  • Work closely with GPs and other colleagues to resolve day to day medicine issues, particularly for patients with long term conditions and who are taking a number of different medications
  • Liaise with hospitals, community pharmacists and care homes to ensure seamless care for patients.
This short video produced by rpharms features Rena Amin a GP based Pharmacist. It looks at her role within her Practice and how she supports her colleagues. Take a look at the Careers pages to hear what Clinical Pharmacists say about working in the Essex practice.
What are my career options as Portfolio GP?
Portfolio GP A portfolio GP has a diverse range of roles that could include teaching FY2’s, Out of Hours (OOH) work, working for a CCG or your LMC or being an appraiser. There is an extensive list that goes on. Pulse Today have produced three YouTube videos that considers the personal experience of four Portfolio GPs including; why they love being a portfolio GP, what it is like and the benefits and considerations for becoming a portfolio GP.
Where can I find more information on the different careers within Primary Healthcare?
For information on the different roles within primary care please visit our career paths page. On these pages you will also find videos of staff discussing the route into their role and what they enjoy about working in primary care. The NHS have recently launched a new website that has a wealth of information on the various careers within health care. To find out all you need to know about a career in health and begin planning the next steps towards your chosen career visit
What is the GP Appraisal process in Essex?
The appraisal process requires you to have an annual appraisal which is based upon your provision of supporting information that will assure the public that you are up to date and fit to practise. On completion of your training you will be allocated an Appraiser and an appraisal month.  This will be between 9 and 15 months of receipt of your CCT.  You will be required to complete an NHS appraisal within 84 days of the first day of that allocated month.  If you have not completed a successful appraisal within that time frame you will be considered for removal from the Medical Performers List (MPL).  This will mean that you will not be able to practise as a GP. To complete a successful appraisal you will need to provide the required amount and standard of information to your appraiser in an agreed toolkit or using the MAG form.  You should consider your professional duties set out in Good Medical Practice, including keeping your knowledge and skills up to date. You should review GMC guidance on “supporting information”,and consider the information that you can collect to show that you are keeping up to date and fit to practise. It may be of interest to newly qualified GPs to note that most referrals for investigation by GMC are about GPs in their first year of practise or GPs in their final practise years. Your first year is therefore a crucial one for both patient safety and for your own professional development.  When considering the requirements for remaining on the MPL (and so being able to work as a GP) we look at patient safety and professional responsibility. Regardless of your working arrangements the requirement for appraisal and revalidation and the minimum standards of evidence remain the same - unless you have an exemption from a period of appraisal that has been agreed by NHS England (e.g. for maternity leave, long term illness, etc.).   Fact Sheet NQ GPs, Appraisals And Revalidation   For more information please visit:
What experience do I need to get a job as a practice nurse?
As the role of practice nurse is so varied any previous experience you have will be relevant to the role. Most nurses come into practice nursing after working in secondary care or community nursing for a few years. It is possible to become a practice nurse as a newly qualified nurse but it is important to find the right practice so that you can be offered the appropriate level of support to be able to work autonomously. EQUIP offer a Practice Nurse development course for nurses who wish to make the transition into general practice. More information is available  Anglia Ruskin University offer a Fundamentals of Practice Nursing course. More information is available here. If you are returning to nursing and would like to become a Practice Nurse, both Essex Universities offer a Return to Practice course. For further information please click on the following links: Anglia Ruskin University – Chelmsford University of Essex – Colchester
What does a healthcare assistant in general practice do?
The role of the HCA depends on the needs of the practice but basically involves supporting the practice nurses and GPs. After you have had appropriate training and a competency assessment there are a variety of tasks you could undertake such as phlebotomy, checking blood pressures, recording ECGs, undertaking health checks, testing urine, recording peak flow measurements, irrigating ears, dressing simple wounds and removing sutures and staples.
I’m a registered nurse with a keen interest in practice nursing, how can I make the move to Primary Care?
Many of the adverts for practice nurses do ask for experience but it is not impossible to move from secondary care into practice nursing. EQUIP runs a course specifically for nurses new to practice nursing or making the transition from community nursing and secondary care to practice nursing. Whilst most vacancies do ask for experience in a range of skills practice managers realise they may not find a nurse who can do all those things when they are appointed. Practice nursing is a very varied role and even an experienced practice nurse cannot do everything. Have a think about the relevant skills you have and update your CV accordingly. You have many transferable skills that practice managers would be very interested in. For example minor illness and minor injury management, triage, wound care, working autonomously, management of long term conditions, ECG interpretation, mental health, knowledge of the community services available so you can discharge patients safely…….and many more. Once you have done this you should apply for any practice nurse jobs you are interested in, you may be pleasantly surprised. You may have to flexible and consider working part time as a practice nurse initially, perhaps doing bank or agency work as well, but with a nursing background you should find a post in primary care.
I would like to become a Practice Manager, what experience or qualifications do I require?
Entry to the Practice Manager job is varied. Many managers have worked their way up through general practice, perhaps working as receptionists, administrators, audit clerks, assistant managers on route. This brings a sound knowledge of practice life but lack of management skills. Some then go on to take formal qualifications, some develop their skills with numerous short courses in their areas of weakness. Other managers have come from different industries (anything from banking to council work). They bring with them good HR, legal knowledge, financial understanding etc  but often struggle with the terminology and NHS culture. There is no set requirement for being a Practice Manager except strong will, hard work and flexibility
I am currently a receptionist in a GP practice and I really enjoy the patient contact. How could I become a healthcare assistant?
You could discuss with your practice manger the fact that you are interested in becoming a healthcare assistant as some practices do support their reception staff to develop as healthcare assistants. All new healthcare assistants need to complete the Care Certificate within 12 weeks of starting in the role. See Skills for Health website for further details. You may also consider an apprenticeship with your practice for which there are two study options: There are two study options: The level 3 may be more appropriate if there has already been some clinical exposure / experience, within level 3 apprenticeship there is also more focus on specialty i.e. adult nursing. The individual would need to fully move into the HCA role from the moment they take up the apprenticeship and there is a requirement to spend 20% of contracted time on ‘off-the job training’ (that can be attending classroom training, shadowing etc) for the duration of the apprenticeship. EQUIP also offer a course for non-medical staff that want to become a HCA. Further details can be found here.
I am a year 9 student about to make my GCSE choices – what grades and qualifications will I need to ensure I am on the right track to my chosen career?
Your GCSE choices are extremely important in shaping the opportunities available to you as you continue in education. If you have a good idea of the career you would like to pursue you should start to think about the route you will take to get there. For many healthcare practitioner jobs such as a Nurse, Doctor or Pharmacist you will need a strong science background and you may need to take more than a single science GCSE. The following links will be useful in helping you make your decision.
I am a qualified nurse but my NMC registration has lapsed, I’d like to return to professional practice
The University of Essex and Anglia Ruskin University run Return to practice courses that are fully funded by Health Education East of England for lapsed registrants. It is a combination of classroom and online learning, More information can be found on their websites:
I am a GP recently moved to the UK, what do I need to do to start practising as a GP?
You will need to apply to join the GMC Medical Register & GMC GP Register. Details of the process and what you need to provide can be found on the GMC website. Please note, it can take several months for your registration to be processed so do bear this in mind when applying to join. It is best to apply with ample time prior to when you hope to start practising. The GMC run a Welcome to UK practice programme (WTUKP) offering free half-day learning sessions to help doctors new to practice, or new to the country to understand the ethical issues that will affect them and their patients on a day to day basis. To find out more click here. For contact details for your Regional Liaison Advisor for GMC East of England click here. To access local support for GPs relocating to the UK or wanting to start practicing as a family doctor in Essex please visit our International recruitment page.

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