North London Partners in health and care

Camden Health Evolution offers training to non-clinical staff to develop general practice teams

Camden Health Evolution (CHE), a federation of 17 General Practices are facilitating training for non-clinical staff members, such as receptionists and administrators to support the development of the team in general practice, one of the high impact actions from the GP Forward View to release time for care.

Non-clinical staff, such as receptionists, are often the first point of contact for many patients. They play a key role in disseminating information around health promotion to patients in everyday interactions; however many receptionists are not equipped with sufficient knowledge or skills to do so effectively.

The overarching aim of all the training is to increase the knowledge and skills of non-clinical staff in order to reduce demand for GP time and connect the patient directly with the most appropriate professional; it is hoped that this will lead to a reduced variation in patient satisfaction ratings between practices, as well as increased job satisfaction, and thus increased workforce retention amongst non-clinical staff.

One specific project that CHE have been commissioned by Camden and Islington Public Health and the UCLH Cancer Collaborative to deliver is a three month telephone intervention project which aims to improve cervical screening rates for women in Camden and promote the Extended Access Hubs (EAH) to increase choice for patients.  EAH are practices that offer evening and weekend appointments for patients registered with other practices in the area.

In collaboration with Cancer Research (CRUK), two half-day interactive training sessions have been facilitated for CHE’s non-clinical staff members designed to increase cancer awareness, confidence around inviting patients to attend screening, and managing difficult conversations. The training was attended by 16 attendees and the evaluation highlighted that there was a significant increase in knowledge of cancer signs and symptoms, types of screening tests and in knowledge of how to manage difficult conversations following the training.

An additional half-day training session for the CHE staff delivering the intervention was also delivered by CRUK and built on the foundations of the first training session, the session enabled role play of specific scenarios and group discussions around how best to deal with the scenarios presented.

CHE will facilitate further training around active signposting and managing difficult conversations for non-clinical staff later in the year.

If you would like more information email