Some things in life are free!
Cliff Kilgore is a Consultant Nurse for Intermediate Care and Older People within Dorset Healthcare NHS Trust and he is also a Visiting Fellow to Bournemouth University. He is Chair of the BGS Nurses and Allied Healthcare Professionals Council. He also is a member of the BGS Clinical Quality Steering Group. He tweets @kilgore_cliff
Many of our readers will know that the BGS has been at the forefront of promoting older people's healthcare and wellbeing for many years. In fact, we celebrated 70 years of this in March. Leading the way for older people has enabled the BGS to have great influence on many aspects of policy and guidance including Fit for Frailty, The Silver Book, Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA), as well as ever increasing influence on training and development of all clinicians. The BGS has long recognised the importance of developing trainees and to support this has offered many benefits to its members including free membership for medical students and foundation doctors, study grants and sponsorship and support of research projects.
Over recent years the BGS has placed increasing emphasis on the vital importance of multi-professional working; this has been reflected in the increasing membership of allied health care professionals (AHPs) and nurses. During this time many nurses and AHPs have benefitted from study grants to attend conferences and generally increase their knowledge of caring for older people and therefore enhancing the MDT.. As an organisation that recognises the importance of developing people, the BGS continues to consider ways to promote learning, particularly for clinicians that are early on in their career.
In 2010 the Preceptorship Framework was published by the Department of Health. This paper recognised the importance of allowing healthcare professionals to consolidate all they had learnt in their primary professional training through a year-long 'preceptorship' during their first post. They define a ‘preceptorship’ as “A foundation period [of preceptorship] for practitioners at the start of their careers which will help them begin the journey from novice to expert”. Health Education England have indicated that this is a vital opportunity for all healthcare professionals to.
The BGS recognise that the 1st year preceptorship for nurses and AHPs is a crucial element of learning and enables these clinicians to develop further the knowledge and skills needed to improve the wellbeing of older people. As evidence of their support for the scheme, and to further promote this learning the BGS will now offer a FREE membership to all AHPs and nurses for the 1st year after qualifying from their pre-registration training. This will enable clinicians in their preceptorship year to access all the benefits of education, knowledge and support that the BGS provides to healthcare professionals working in the care of older people. Who said that nothing in life is free!