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Assessing the clinical skills training needs of community healthcare staff

Due to changes in national healthcare policy community staff, including nurses, are being asked to care for ever-larger and more diverse groups of patients. However, the challenge for staff and service providers is how to deliver higher standards of clinical care while ensuring that patient safety remains a priority. One of the answers is to ensure that staff who deliver any clinical skill do so competently, but reports have highlighted technical skills gaps that need to be addressed. No failings should be regarded as acceptable as they can impact on patient safety and there is a responsibility to address any areas for improvement through education and skills training. The study outlined in this article attempted to capture the perceptions and experiences of community staff to gain an insight into the gaps in clinical skills training and make recommendations for improvement.