A consultation in Wales is seeking views on a primary care workforce plan for the country and pledges to increase the number of pre-registration training placements for nurses.
Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) and the Strategic Programme for Primary Care (SPPC) are consulting on ‘key actions’ that will be used to inform a new Strategic Workforce Plan for Primary Care in Wales.
Closing on 6 October, the consultation proposes an ‘increase’ in the number of pre-registration training placements for nurses, pharmacists, allied health professionals and other professionals in primary care.
It adds a commitment to ensuring ‘high quality’ placements are available and that also consider the need for practice education facilitator roles.
The consultation also explores the need to ensure that preceptorship for nurses and colleagues is ‘appropriate to the role’.
Those behind the proposals said they had undertaken ‘significant engagement with stakeholders from across primary care as well as extensive research’ to help inform and shape their suggestions.
Chief nursing officer for Wales Sue Tranka flagged the consultation during a speech at this year’s Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) conference (2 October), as she recognised the nursing ‘workforce challenge’ in the country.
Ms Tranka noted that the incoming primary care workforce plan would build on the Framework for General Practice Nursing in Wales, which was developed in 2021 and set out the key skills and competencies of a general practice nurse.
She added that the workforce plan would help ‘give a full career pathway within primary and community care here in Wales’.
And she also highlighted that HEIW was ‘supporting a national network of primary care academies in every region of Wales to support the training, the education and support of the full multidisciplinary primary care team’.
During her address, Ms Tranka thanked nurses working across community settings for the ‘effort, hard work and huge contribution’ that they make.
She added: ‘I am so very proud of our community nurses, and all of the work that they have done to date in all of the work that they continue to support and committed to. Thank you very much.’
A recent report from the Royal College of Nursing in Wales urged the Welsh Government to ensure that general practice nursing is seen as ‘an attractive career option’ for newly registered nurses, amid fresh concerns over an ageing workforce.