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Health and social care student placements in schools and across services


My name is Sue Grave and I work alongside my colleague Lucy O’Driscoll as Practice Education Facilitator’s on a Health Education England project, which is focused on expanding clinical placements for students (CPEP).  We are supported by two project administrators Jayne and Nicola and although our team is hosted by the university of Chester, we work on behalf of four other universities across Cheshire and Merseyside.  They are Liverpool John Moores University, The University of Liverpool, Edge Hill University, and The University of Chester.

We look for potential areas of practice where we could work in partnership with both students and placement areas to support students.  Some students have predominantly been ward based, which concentrates on many clinical skills, however we feel by involving organisations within the community who deliver social prescribing, and using multi-disciplinary team approaches for clients, will allow for richness through experience to be gained by students, and being part of the ongoing work within communities gives them a full insight into other services offering support to people within the community setting.

As we discussed, knowing more about the organisation and how they would see a typical day for a student; along with how a student could be supported (with support from the university) is welcomed.

The support would be from external health registrants attached to the university and would be delivered in what we call ‘Long Arm’ support.  We as a Faculty must meet the requirement of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as our regulatory body, therefore must ensure there are health and social care registrants in place to act as Practice Assessors (PA) and Practice Supervisors (PS), (so having students in placement would not be a barrier for you as an organisation).

We would provide two people who will contact you.  One will act as a Practice Assessor and would be in touch with the student at the beginning of their placement, the mid-point, and the end point.  They will discuss how the student can achieve their competencies and what opportunities they can do to meet these.

The other is the Practice Supervisor who will be in contact with the student at least once weekly to offer support.   Both the PA and PS will work with you to see how the student is performing; however, they WILL complete all the paperwork required.

The process begins with some paperwork that needs to be completed, which is sent to Health Education England (HEE), HEE will then send you a contract (the contract is between the organisation and HEE), I will admit the paperwork is heavy going, however it is a standard contract, which basically means you agree to look after the students, to let the university know if there are any problems/concerns, and that you hold public liability insurance.

Once the contract is signed and sent to HEE, my colleague Lucy and I can arrange to visit to complete an audit.  We also have a toolkit that we can complete with you, which incorporates the housekeeping information for students, what to wear, what to expect, whether there is parking etc.

All our students have enhanced DBS, Occupational Health checks and references.

You do receive a payment for each student you place, which is currently £94.50 per student per week.  As I explained earlier it can be a lengthy process as three times per year HEE ask the university to submit the locations students have been on placements.  HEE will then check with you as a placement provider that this is correct, if so, they will invite you to invoice them and they will make the payment.

Placements are usually between 4-6 weeks long and happen approx. three to four times per year, students can be paired up in placements (which is quite nice for both you and them, as they can support each other via a buddy system).

Regarding sending students out into placement.  Once, the contract and audits have been completed our allocations office will allocate a student to you, (realistically now we will be looking at the end of the year or even January for placements to happen), if it is not convenient for you to accommodate a student at that time, you are not obliged to place them, and can opt for the next time, for instance if there are staff shortages etc. This will not impact on any contracts, as this will remain in place.

If a student is allocated to you and accepted, they will be asked to contact you 1-2 week prior to placement starting and you will be given the students details.

Please find attached our flyer with information that you may find useful.  If you have any questions at all then please come back to me.