It would be great if we could transform things by will power alone.  If we added the power of positive energy to a well-coordinated, fully engaged plan it would be lovely to think we had every chance of success.  If we have good leadership (at every level), positive energy and a good plan – and then combined it with a fabulous tool-kit of tried and trusted techniques to change and improve things, wouldn’t we succeed?  Well, maybe.  But there is another big bit of the change jig-saw we have to put in place.  Training (and real, workplace learning) to do the work differently. 

Better Care Together is a detailed plan supported by a strong partnership and a lot of positive energy.  It depends, however, not on being ‘a good plan’ but upon significant changes to the way patients are managed by our system.  Fundamentally there needs to be less dependence on hospital care – and when hospital care does happen, it needs to be ‘short and sweet’ with significantly shorter lengths of stay / more early discharge.  For these things to happen, everybody needs to change.  We will need a different engagement with patients themselves, a different primary care, different community services, different A&E, different hospital services and different social care.  Quite a challenge.   

So, as the popular saying goes: how do you eat an elephant?  Not by chewing on the tusks and toenails all day long, that is for sure!  Together with the Better Care Together partners, CLIC has been supported by Health Education England (North West) to do some practical workplace training.  Clinical skills training.  Helping nurses to see their changing role and prepare for it. If we are going to see more dependent patients cared for more pro-actively in the community (and indeed some nurses who currently work in hospitals working in the community), we need to support them in building the right set of clinical skills.  The Forerunner Fund initiative is a toe in that water, a digestible mouthful of the elephant of change.  Six clinical skills educators and project facilitator are soon to start work – based in CLIC and in partnership with the University of Cumbria – to support the changes needed across all of Cumbria. The University of Cumbria will deliver the training and the clinical educators will work with clinicians to embed learning in practice. It’s a welcome practical step. 

It isn’t ground breaking; it isn’t massive in scale; it is experimental (think PDSA cycles – there isn’t anything that cannot be improved!) and it cannot yet support everyone who needs to change.  But it is a good place to start and well done to everyone involved it getting the initiative going.  We know the population of patients that we serve is ageing; many are more ill and more dependent than we have been used to serving in a primary and community setting and yet we cannot afford a bigger and bigger hospital service.  With a good plan, positive energy, consistent leadership and a continuous improvement ethos we should do well.  Add in systematic workplace learning and we cannot fail!

Interested in Nurse Education or gaining more teaching experience? 

We have a great opportunity for you.


Band 7 Clinical Skills Educator - Clinical Skills Programme


Needed… enthusiastic, committed Nurses with a passion for Education. As part of a new and exciting project funded by Health Education North West, this post involves providing high quality clinical skills training and support to qualified nurses working in Primary Care, the independent sector, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Acute Sectors across Cumbria in association with the University of Cumbria.   

The post will be hosted by Cumbria Learning and Improvement Collaborative (NHS Cumbria CCG) and offers full time employment either on a secondment or a fixed term basis for a period of 9 months, working Monday to Friday with staff in their localities.


In return… in the spirit of CLIC, you will be supported with your personal and professional development. As part of this exciting project you will have the opportunity to work with the University of Cumbria and hold an honorary contract for the duration of the project. You will be supported & supervised by the project lead.


Interested? If you have any queries or would like to discuss please contact:

Toni Hall, Education & Learning Manager, CPFT / CLIC Programme Manager, BB: 07824 473 837

Sue Robb, Quality & Safety Lead, NHS Cumbria CCG, BB: 07769 675 689

Lisa Smith, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Practice, Lifelong and Inter-professional Learning, Faculty of Health and Science, University of Cumbria, Tel: 01524 590800 ext 2573, BB: 07817 531 136


Please apply via NHS Jobs


Secondments from all health organisations, including GP practices, Cumbria County Council and University of Cumbria are welcomed. Please ensure you have discussed this opportunity with your manager before applying (this post is also available as a 9 month fixed term contract).

NHS Improving Quality is running a free new and innovative online course for people working in health and social care.

The course is suitable for both beginners as well as people with some improvement knowledge and, over 8 weeks, covers:

  • The fundamentals of quality improvement
  • Using the model for improvement
  • Measuring for improvement
  • Sustaining and spreading improvements

The course is delivered entirely online via videos, articles and exercises and features live knowledge exchange events, allowing you to learn from experts and debate and connect with other participants around the world.

To enrol on the course, go to NHS IQ Improvement FUNdamentals website.  For more information, please contact


Could you make a difference? Do you have a bright idea that could help to improve the NHS?


Everyone can play a part in developing innovative solutions to the healthcare challenges we face. NHS Innovations North wants to hear about your bright ideas to improve the experience of our patients and public as well as our staff.


The Bright Ideas in Health Awards 2015 is a competition organised by NHS Innovations North, which is a service delivered by RTC North Limited on behalf of the Academic Health Science Network North East and Cumbria.


Now in its twelfth year, the Awards celebrate the achievements of NHS employees throughout all sectors of the service in the North East and Cumbria who have risen to the challenge of telling how, and where, they believe that improvements to the service provided to patients can be improved, either through a technical innovation or through better service delivery. 


For the first time NHS Innovations North are also encouraging entries from regional SMEs making an impact on the healthcare market.  


You could win a cash prize as well as support to help you to develop your idea into a new medical product or raise awareness of your innovative service. 


The categories for the Bright Ideas in Health Awards 2015 are as follows:

  • Service Innovation
  • Innovative Technology or Device
  • CCG Innovation within Primary Care
  • SME Innovation in Healthcare
  • Patient and Public Involvement – Making Research Better, sponsored by CRN: North East and North Cumbria and AHSN NENC. NHS Innovations North are looking to hear from Researchers and Research staff including Research Nurses, Clinicians, PhD and Masters Students about how Patient and Public Involvement has positively influenced their studies/evaluations. Entries are likely to include examples from clinical trials, student projects, and service development and evaluation where patient and public involvement has made a significant impact to the study design and process.


Please note that if your entry does not fit exactly within one of the above categories then NHS Innovations North still wish to hear from you.


The closing date for entries into the Bright Ideas in Health Awards 2014 has now been extended to Monday 6th April 2015. The awards ceremony will take place at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead Hotel on Thursday 21st May 2015. 


Entries can be submitted to the Bright Ideas in Health Awards by clicking here.


Please contact for more information if required.


With thanks to NHS Innovations North's sponsors:

RTC North Ltd, Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN, NENC), Archer IP and CRN: North East and North Cumbria