7th February 2002

 

NEW TRUST TO TRAIN PRIMARY CARE PROFESSIONALS

 

Lincolnshire is to get one of the eight new Teaching Primary Care Trusts to help train, recruit and retain key NHS personnel in the county.

 

The University of Lincoln and the Lincolnshire South West Primary Care Trust joined forces to bid for one of the new trusts whose creation was first announced by the Prime Minister in March last year.

 

Today the Health Minister John Hutton announced the names of the eight new Teaching Primary Care Trusts which will include one for Lincolnshire – the only Teaching PCT in the NHS Trent region.

 

The new trusts will provide new approaches to training, recruitment and retention of staff providing primary care in the NHS, including doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists and opticians.

 

More than seven per cent of GP posts across Lincolnshire remain unfilled, and with the population growing - particularly among the over 65s - medical list sizes are increasing.

 

“I am thrilled with the news - there are going to be eight Teaching PCTs in the country and we are one of them,” said Lincolnshire South West PCT chief executive Derek Bray, who has fronted the bid.

 

“This will enable us to play a significant role in improving primary care services by improving our ability to attract and retain GPs and nurses.”

 

Dr John Collinge, chair of the Executive Committee for Lincolnshire South West PCT, is pleased that months of hard work had resulted in success. “Much research and preparation has taken place throughout the process and we have had a great deal of support from the other organisations involved, including the county’s primary care trusts, the University of Lincoln, the NHS Workforce Confederation in the East Midlands and the University Deaneries in Leicester and Nottingham.”    

 

In the initial phase six new salaried posts to recruit newly trained GPs will be created, with four more posts shared between academic, research and practice-based positions. 

 

There will be an expansion of the training schemes in the county for both doctors and dentists so that many young practitioners can be recruited. There will also be      

development of training courses based at the University of Lincoln, designed to create new types of staff that the NHS will need in the coming years.

 

Part of the criteria for a successful bid was that an established model for education was already in place in the county. The commitment of the PCTs to the Lincolnshire Target programme, which provides training and education for primary care staff in the county, was a powerful illustration that the local NHS is committed to improving quality of care for its residents.

 

Dr Philip Fairchild, GP Director of the Target programme, said: “Our success will be a huge boost for the county. We have an opportunity to work in partnership with the

university with the long-term aim of delivering training for pre- and post-registration students and other health care workers.

 

“The Target programme has already demonstrated a joint commitment to training and education for primary care and that was vitally important in our success. Because we have not had an academic history and establishment in the county we have always faced two problems: firstly, it has been more difficult to recruit new students since they will have to move away for training; and secondly, once they have left the county for their courses, many of them do not return, so the NHS locally does not gain benefit from the investment.”

 

Professor David Chiddick, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, is delighted that the university is closely involved with the development of a Teaching Primary Care Trust and has committed the university to joint funding of a number of posts. 

 

Professor H T Hassan, Director of the Lincolnshire Institute for Health which was established last year at the University of Lincoln, commented: “This is a milestone achievement which will lead to significant training and research opportunities for health professionals working in primary care.”

 

The Teaching PCT will be funded by £400k from the Department of Health and another £330k from the University of Lincoln and the Workforce Confederation.

 

The eight schemes, announced by John Hutton, are in North Tees, Bristol North and Bristol South West, Slough, Lincolnshire South West, Haringey, Luton, Blackburn and Darwen and Heart of Birmingham.

 

Three Teaching PCTs were established in April 2001 as test sites in Sunderland West PCT, Salford PCT and Bradford City PCT. The final number of Teaching PCTs is expected to be between 25 and 30.

 

For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincoln (tel: 01522 886042)

email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk