NHS Education for Scotland

Flying Start NHS® goes ‘down under’

Press Release   •   Oct 01, 2012 11:59 BST

Innovative web-based support developed by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and available in Scotland since 2006 for newly qualified nurses, midwives and allied health professionals in Scotland is now also available in Australia.  Monday 18 June saw the state-wide launch of Flying Start Queensland Health targeted at newly qualified allied health professionals.


Since January 2006, Flying Start NHS® has supported over 20,000 newly qualified nurses, midwives and allied health professionals taking up their first post in NHSScotland.   The website receives in excess of 100,000 page views per month.  www.flyingstart.scot.nhs.uk


Flying Start NHS® is fully endorsed by the Scottish Government, NHSScotland professional leads and University partners with the expectation that all newly qualified practitioners will register on the programme as they assume their first NHS post, and that completing the programme should take no longer than a year.


Chief Nursing Officer at the Scottish Government, Ros Moore, said:  “We are hugely proud of our programme and ensuring that qualified staff feel supported and valued within this platform for continuing professional development.  The customised version of Scotland’s Flying Start NHS® is now created in Queensland Health and feedback will inform the next stage in this exciting collaboration between the Scottish Government, NHS Education for Scotland and Queensland Health in Australia.”


Jacquie Lunday, Chief Health Professions Officer at the Scottish Government, added:  “Flying Start NHS® has been hugely beneficial in supporting retention and development of newly qualified staff in their early career development, building their confidence as practitioners and  multi - professional team players. This exciting international collaboration will maximise the potential of work based learning and the added value new practitioners bring to Queensland Health"


The programme focuses on supporting newly qualified practitioners to feel valued within their new workplace, to enhance their capabilities as accountable registered practitioners and to provide a framework from which to build a career-long approach to professional development. The programme is delivered through a dedicated website that promotes work-based learning activity aimed at supporting the individual’s professional progression, building their confidence and helping them to make choices about career development.


In 2010 the intellectual property rights of the programme were protected which resulted in the successful branding of Flying Start NHS®.


Also in 2010, Flying Start NHS® was purchased for use in all NHS Trusts in England to support preceptorship for newly qualified nurses and midwives.  The web-based development programme has since been made available to staff in a range of associated healthcare settings in Scotland, for example some areas of the Armed Forces and Independent Care Homes.


NES Chief Executive, Malcolm Wright, said:  “I a delighted that this high quality product developed by NES is achieving not just UK but now also international recognition.  In today’s rapidly developing high-tech world, it is vital that we make use of all emergent technologies to deliver educational and learning support wherever it is needed but, in particular to promote confidence and competence in newly qualified practitioners.”


The unique website has been evaluated and is constantly reviewed to ensure it is kept dynamic and contemporary.  Features such as a design refresh with new content added to support mentors and closer alignment to the KSF development review was launched in July 2010.  The review of learning units contained within the website is also due for completion in 2012 and the Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Health Professions Officer have distributed a renewed statement of support to all NHS Boards in Scotland.


Queensland Health found out about Flying Start NHS® from for NHSScotland staff who had come to work for them as well as staff who had existing contacts in Scotland. They were interested in bringing the programme to Queensland following a analysis of allied health clinical education and training needs which identified that an increased level of support for new starter staff members was important.  The fact that NHSScotland had a relevant resource that had been developed trialled and evaluated led them to pursue this as a possible solution. 


Speaking at the launch on Monday, Dr Tony O'Connell, Director-General of Queensland Health, said:  “Flying Start Queensland Health builds on existing professional support practices. It offers a structured and integrated approach to development for both the new practitioner and their workplace supervisor/mentor.


“The need for this program was identified during consultation with allied health professional groups on clinical education needs.  Support for new starters, including new graduates with interprofessional competencies was identified as a need across most professions.  This project was commenced as a result of this identified need from the workplace.

“Flying Start Queensland Health is based on a very effective program developed in NHS Scotland for nursing and Allied Health.  It provides the foundation for ongoing development of allied health and public health practitioner staff in their careers within Queensland Health.  This program is a valuable resource which provides tools and resources which can facilitate professional development.  This program would have relevance for all health professionals in Queensland Health.  I would strongly encourage not only all new graduates, new starters, their managers and supervisors to engage in this program but all staff within the organisation to view the tools for the relevance in their settings.


“Due to the interprofessional nature of Flying Start Queensland Health it may have future application to the professional development of staff in other professions such as Nursing or Medicine.”



Reference:  1114

Further Information From

Christine Patch, Head of Corporate Communications:  christine.patch@nes.scot.nhs.uk; 0131 313 8059; 07786 398 082

Note to Editors

NES is NHSScotland's national education and training Board. We are responsible for supporting NHS services to the people of Scotland through the development and delivery of education and training for all those who work in NHSScotland. We work closely with a range of partners to deliver our vision of Quality Education for a Healthier Scotland www.nes.scot.nhs.uk

Find out about Flying Start NHS® http://www.nes.scot.nhs.uk/education-and-training/by-theme-initiative/workforce-development/flying-start-nhs.aspx