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J Adv Nurs. 2001 Jun;34(5):629-38.

The primary and secondary care interface: the educational needs of nursing staff for the provision of seamless care.

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  • 1Research Associate, School of Health Sciences/Nursing, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.



To identify nurses' perceived deficits in the knowledge and skills required to provide effective seamless care, so that appropriate training could be provided.


A clear understanding of nursing staff roles, skills and resources is paramount to work at the primary/secondary care interface. Nursing staff require an educational model that will provide a clear understanding of how their roles coalesce with other healthcare professionals. There is little evidence that examines the educational needs of nurses related to changing care boundaries.


The study used methodological triangulation to explore these issues within current practice. Focus groups were used to generate items for inclusion in the questionnaire. Questionnaire design was based on an importance-performance analysis. This procedure has been effective in developing health care marketing strategies. A stratified random sample of nursing staff (n=722) from the participating trusts received the questionnaire, eliciting a response rate of 172 (23.8%).


Factor analysis provided a list of seven training categories in order of training need priority: information technology, awareness of roles, communications within seamless care, working across boundaries, professional issues, practice-related issues, delivery of patient/client care issues. There were no differences in nurses' training needs across NHS trusts. However, differences were highlighted for staff located in primary or secondary settings or working across the interface.


Despite there being a vast range of training issues the majority of nurses appear to have a clear idea of their training needs for the provision of seamless care. A training programme required which targets the specific needs of nursing staff working at different positions across the primary/secondary care interface.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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