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Home  »   Member Voice   »   Black Country pioneer clinical peer mentoring scheme for clinicians in primary care

Black Country pioneer clinical peer mentoring scheme for clinicians in primary care

Jyoti Saini, PDA Regional Committee member, discusses the Black Country Training Hub, which is providing a fully funded peer mentoring scheme for clinicians working in General Practice within GP Practices in Walsall, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Dudley.

Thu 28th September 2023 The PDA

Being a PDA Rep has helped me to realise that, in particular, any new pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in primary care can benefit from the support of 1-1 mentoring. That’s why I joined the mentoring programme within the training hub.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a learning relationship, generally focused on long-term professional and personal development. The primary purpose is to drive personal growth, building skills, knowledge and understanding.

Mentors support and encourage their mentees by offering suggestions and knowledge, both general and specific. The goal is to empower mentees to find their own solutions to any problems or questions they may have and support them to achieve their goals.

What are the benefits?

There is good evidence that peer support and mentoring is an effective way for colleagues of all professions to manage a range of issues, which ultimately contributes to achieving a more positive experience at work.

Mentees can benefit from:

  • Advice on identifying strengths and overcoming weaknesses
  • Guidance on professional development
  • The opportunity to cultivate new skills and knowledge
  • Increased motivation and job satisfaction
  • The opportunity to develop more focused and supported goals.

This scheme supports new or established clinicians and has a number of clinical peer mentors who are able to support mentees through their careers. The peer mentors (pharmacist, GP, nurse, Allied Healthcare Professional – Physiotherapist) are established healthcare practitioners and respected peers with a variety of skills, experience, and training. They all receive specific mentoring training and support from the Training Hub as well as undertaking their Institute of Leadership and Management Level 5 qualification in Coaching and Mentoring.

Mentees can select any mentor, regardless of profession.

The scheme is intended to improve job satisfaction and retention in primary care for both mentees and mentors. This is a nationally recognised scheme, which has been offering support and career guidance to colleagues since 2018.

Mentoring provides one-to-one support for individuals who would like to have a completely confidential discussion about a range of personal and professional topics. This may include:

  • Transitioning into primary care after training
  • Support to explore solutions to professional concerns
  • Exploration of portfolio careers
  • Personal development opportunities
  • Preventing burn-out
  • Quality improvement
  • Time management
  • Health and wellbeing concerns
  • Business skills
  • Work-life balance
  • Or anything else!

Each mentee has access to up to 12 hours of mentoring over 12 months, with the frequency and length of sessions negotiated between the mentor and mentee depending on individual requirements. If the mentoring session is undertaken in work time, the practice within the Black Country will receive a backfill payment for the time the clinician is in their mentoring session.

Sessions can be carried out in person at a mutually agreed venue, online or by phone.

Once sessions are concluded, the mentee will be asked to complete a feedback form to help measure how effective the support has been.

How do I access support?

To access the scheme, you must be working in primary care, in general practice within the Black Country area, either as an employed clinician, trainee or locum.

Please contact me for more information and details to access the scheme.


By Jyoti Saini, PDA Regional Committee member for West and Wales and primary care pharmacist.

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