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Birmingham and Solihull Training Hub’s social care success

Birmingham and Solihull Training Hub, which is hosted by South Doc Services Limited, works closely with all of the primary care providers across the Birmingham and Solihull to build the professional education, recruitment and retention, and general workplace experience of primary care staff.

Recently, they recognised a gap in the student placement plan around social care, and, in particular helping students studying at our universities understand the complexity that comes with working with multiple providers, all independent, to the mutual benefit and safety of our patients.

Starting with the student groups that they knew best, since November 2021, they have successfully placed nine student nurses, three from each of our higher education institute’s into a nursing home to witness and experience for themselves how residents live and how staff manage the nursing home.  The outcome has been a resounding success, with students learning so much from understanding the environment, and the home itself benefitting from the knowledge and engagement of the students.  They are now in early discussions with the same home to provide placements for learning disabilities students as well.

As a direct result of this success, the hub have also placed six student paramedics in Extra Care placements for two weeks, which again proved to be such a great experience, that both the HEI and the placements have asked for it to be planned into future student placement sessions.

This was a trial and given the extremely positive feedback the hub has received, they are taking the pilot further. Not only will they continue to offer places to nurses and paramedics, they have also developed a plan to offer two week placements to AHP students, who currently receive no primary care placement time.  This will include nursing homes, GP surgeries, MSK clinics and, hopefully, alongside Community Health Partners, community experience. The aim is to give them an understanding of the environment and practices in primary care, to help build their understanding of the patient, and the environmental impacts they encounter.

The hub are also working closely with Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust on the community placement expansion project, which will launch in September 2022, have identified six homes that will take T-Level students on placements, through one of their colleges, and supported South and City College in developing their bid through the West Midlands Combined Authority for the Skills Boot Camp to upskill primary care and social care staff.

The hub remit means that they are responsible for enabling students to experience placements in primary care, and are always keen to work with partners to deliver a better experience for our future workforce.  Some placements do incur a tariff payment for helping support this experience, and this rate is set by Health Education England (HEE), and administered through the higher education instituets, but the hub can help with the educational audits and agreements that are necessary in order to host students.

If you would like to know more, please contact the Birmingham and Solihull Training Hub at