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East Antrim GP Federation collaborates with Northern Regional College

East Antrim GP Federation collaborates with Northern Regional College to launch Innovative Level 2 Primary Care Medical Administration Course.

Enabling our local GP Practices & increasing future careers in General Practice.

The East Antrim GP Federation is thrilled to announce its partnership with the Northern Regional College (NRC) to introduce a new Level 2 Primary Care Medical Administration course.

This pilot initiative is bringing the health and education sectors together to support General Practice and represents a significant step to help meet the growing demand for GP administrators within our local GP Practices.  

The role of administrators in GP Practices has evolved significantly over the years, due to the increase of multi-disciplinary health centres, serving a growing number of registered patients with an increasingly sophisticated health service which requires updated knowledge and skills to meet the growing public demand for healthcare services. In a response to this demand, East Antrim GP Federation and NRC has innovatively designed this course.

This programme, which commenced in September 2023, responds to the need for more GP Medical administrators who can seamlessly integrate into GP Practices. Designed as a part-time course, the Level 2 Primary Care Medical Administration program is for individuals aged 18+ and strikes a balance between theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

Students will attend class one day a week at the Northern Regional College and spend another day on a paid placement in a local host GP Practice for 7.5 hours per week until June 2024. This structure ensures that students gain hands on experience in a local GP Practice.

The medical profession is a challenging sector where discretion, patience, and sensitivity are essential skills. The Level 2 Diploma will teach the students all the vital skills they need to act as a link between patient and doctor. They will learn how to integrate the theory of medical terminology, complete administrative and technical tasks in an accurate and timely manner, including compiling confidential letters, typing reports for patient records, answering phone calls and keeping the office running efficiently. This diploma coupled with hands on experience in the GP Practice will break down barriers for training including lack of time and funding, when in practice they can also focus on other skills not learned through the diploma such as basic triage and clinical systems.

The East Antrim Member Host GP practices who each have 1-2 students placed in their practice 1 day per week are:

1.      Rosehall Medical Practice

2.      Whitehouse Medical Group Practice

3.      Castle Practice

4.      Meadowbridge Surgery

5.      Victoria Surgery

6.      Templepatrick Surgery 

7.      Larne Family Practice

8.      Inver Surgery

9.      Corran Surgery

10.   Glengormley Practice

11.   Tramways

12.   Abbots Cross Medical Practice

13.   Scotch Quarter Practice

Upon completion of the program, students will not only possess a wealth of practical experience but will also be awarded a recognised primary care medical secretary qualification. This qualification, together with the hands-on training provided by the local GP Practices, will make graduates well prepared to enter the workforce.

“Glengormley Practice is delighted to be involved in the collaborative working arrangements between Northern Regional College and East Antrim GP Federation.


The administrative role in General Practice has evolved over the years, from the days on the Medical Receptionist to a progressive Care Navigation role, requiring additional skills and knowledge.  The teaching arrangements which include attendance at College accompanied with work placement in Practice, will be a valuable learning experience for the students.


This innovation, between education and health, will support and stablise the administrative teams in General Practice and equip individuals enrolled in the Northern Regional College programme, for a future career in General Practice.”


Carol Andrews, Practice Manager, Glengormley GP Practice

“Northern Regional College are delighted to be associated with NFSU and build on this professional partnership to meet the needs of the sector.” - Jacqueline McAllister Curriculum Area Manager NRC

The East Antrim GP Federation is excited about the positive impact this collaboration with the Northern Regional College will have on the local GP Practices. By investing in education and providing practical training opportunities, this initiative aims to enhance the GP healthcare administration in our GP Practices and contribute to the overall improvement of patient care. 

The East Antrim GP Federation thanks the Strategic Planning and Performance Group (SPPG) for the funding, enabling the coverage of course fees and placement payments for the enrolled students. The project is managed by the Northern Federation Support Unit (NFSU) who supports 4 GP Federations in the North, Antrim Ballymena, Causeway, Mid Ulster and East Antrim GP Federations.

A GP Federation is a group of GP practices, aimed at addressing capacity and workload issues within general practice.  By coming together within a large scale, primary care organisation, it enables economies of scale, not achievable by a single practice. East Antrim GP Federation supports 16 GP Practices and over 150,000 patients.

We are Enabling Better General Practice

For further information, please contact:

Northern GP Federation Support Unit



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