University nursing students go on tour to deliver NHS primary health care in community
University of Gloucestershire nursing students have been at the forefront of a groundbreaking NHS Gloucestershire training initiative delivering preventative care in local communities.
Eight students from nursing programmes within the University’s School of Health and Social Care provided primary health care – the first point of contact within the health care system – to 100 patients on the first two days of the ‘Nurse on Tour’ programme.
The ‘Nurse on Tour’ bus provides a drop-in facility for people with health concerns to access primary health care teams for a diagnosis of symptoms, possible referral, and support and advice about health promotion, which takes pressure off the wider NHS.
Supported by a trained NHS health professional, the students provided preventative care advice, diagnosed symptoms and identified a number of conditions that required referrals, including a suspected cancer case and nearly 50 people with undiagnosed borderline hypertension.
The founder of ‘Nurse on Tour’, Sarah Rogers, General Practice Nursing Strategic Lead for the Gloucestershire Primary Care Training Hub, said: “I set up the programme to help promote primary care as a potential first-destination care choice for nursing students.
“’Nurse on Tour’ provides nursing students with opportunities to ask questions to primary care professionals about their experiences, deliver meaningful preventative care in the community and understand how that care impacts not just the patients and families but the wider NHS.
“The students, supported by me as their overarching supervisor and mentor, are encouraged to take the lead in their practice and to participate in collaborative learning.
“The students have been really positive about their experience and have enjoyed the encouragement from the patients who have really appreciated having such enthusiastic ambassadors of the NHS.
“We have more tours planned in Gloucestershire and potentially across other areas of the South West, and I am looking forward to meeting with more students and changing more lives.”
Nick Oxlade, Strategic Lead Partnerships and Projects within the University’s School of Health and Social Care, said: “We’re thrilled that our students are having the opportunity to work with NHS colleagues on this project.
“Working with local NHS partners to improve the health and wellbeing of the local community is central to all that we do as a school and this project benefits not only the local community but provides fantastic and unique learning opportunities for our students.
“We know that the way healthcare is delivered is always changing. The work Sarah is doing with our students by showing them the wider opportunities available to them when they qualify, at the same time as making a tangible difference to patient care, is fantastic.”