Enhanced Practice Support Framework (EPSF)


When did you first introduce the innovation?

Less than 12 months ago

Please describe the innovation you have developed

This project developed a new framework for practice learning support. Specifically, within each practice area there is now: (1) a lead mentor responsible for the quality of mentorship, (2) mentors with the responsibility for teaching and assessing, and (3) all other registered nurses undertake the role of student coaching;

This new framework has been piloted across six practice learning areas in Cambridgeshire and Essex, working with over 25 mentors, 25 non-registered mentors and 36 students.

What prompted you to develop this innovation?

This innovation was stimulated following initial research study across four large NHS trusts focusing on the experience of mentorship. It identified the following major issues:

  • Mentorship can be burdensome;
  • Registered nurses, who are not mentors, do not fully engage with their responsibilities towards the learners;
  • The quality of mentorship within placements is variable;
  • Non-registered mentors are an untapped resource within the NHS, which could be better used to support learners;
  • Limited number of mentors within certain practice areas;
  • Students often report a variable mentorship experience.

In your view, what is it about this innovation that makes it different/important?

The new framework ensures that all registered nurses take responsibility for facilitating learning and thus enhances the student experience.

The quality of mentorship is enhanced following the introduction of an identified role with a responsibility for quality assurance.

The use of coaching has seen the introduction of a focused practice experience with a daily goal, related to the student’s practice competencies, which supports students to meet the NMC’s practice requirements.

The framework increases the exposure of students to a range of registered nurses thus broadening their understanding of the profession and their role within it.

To what extent does your innovation make use of existing approaches, resources or technologies?

The framework builds on the current model of mentorship and meets all the required NMC standards. It does not add to the resource required for mentorship but instead delivers a quality experience with existing resources.

To what degree has this innovation led to changes in education or clinical practice?

This project has led to significant change in mentorship experience. It has promoted a cultural change leading to an effective enhancement of the mentorship process.

The pilot sites have now adopted this as normal practice thus impacting the staff and student experience of mentorship for the foreseeable future.

The work has led to an ancillary project whereby final year students facilitate the learning of junior students.

The framework supports the sustainability of a quality practice experience and the potential to increase capacity in practice learning environments.

What evidence do you have of the impact of the innovation?

The framework has had a significant positive impact on mentorship and the student experience. Specifically:

Staff now report:

  • 80% consider themselves better informed to make assessment decisions;
  • 86% of registered nurses who undertook the role of coach expressed a desire to become a mentor;

Students now report:

  • 89% rated the framework as excellent.

Lead Education Managers in trusts (Essex), have expressed an interest in having this model implemented in their practice learning areas.

To what degree has the innovation been disseminated in your organisation or elsewhere?

Presented to the Lead Education Managers in trusts (Essex), who have expressed an interest in having this model implemented in their practice learning areas.

The framework, and these data, is being communicated and shared with all link tutors.

Please provide details of any plans you have to disseminate the innovation in the future.

A presentation with Trust Directors at additional sites has been agreed.

The data is being written for publication.

Case study for the Faculty Learning & Teaching website.