Practitioner Development UK
PDUK is a leading provider of continued professional development courses for advanced nurse practitioners, GPs, junior doctors, practice nurses, health visitors, school nurses, district nurses, radiologists, paramedics, pharmacists and other healthcare providers.

In an ever-changing work environment, staying ahead of the game is essential. Developing your competence as a healthcare professional is extremely important, as is planning for the future needs of your patients and staff. Our training courses help you stay abreast of developments in your field whilst allowing you to build your CPD portfolio.

Access all areas
Ready jump in? Start now by completing one of our innovative online eLearning courses. The questions are quick to get through and are a couple of hours well spent in enhancing your knowledge and standards of care. We offer a wide range of online courses, including:

The first steps in recognising the acutely ill child – a free taster 

Immunisation update

An introduction to the assessment of minor head injuries

An introduction to paediatric minor injuries

Essential ophthalmic assessment in primary care

An introduction to skin infections

Dementia – understanding and dealing with challenging behaviour

Asthma in childhood- The essentials

Immunisation update for healthcare assistants

Minor injuries for pharmacists

Emergency contraception update

For further information visit

Bespoke training for your staff
All healthcare practitioners can benefit from PDUK’s in-house programmes

PDUK's in-house events offer the highest quality CPD courses which are cost-effective and bespoke to your team’s requirements. Our expert tutors will help your staff stay up to date with developments in current practice and allow them to enhance their knowledge and skills.

Following their training, staff will feel fulfilled and empowered enough to deliver the best healthcare service they possibly can to patients. Programmes include:

Getting to grips with mental health
Telephone triage refresh and refine
Ear care in the community: irrigation training essentials for nurses
Leg ulcers: essential care guide
An introduction to travel health
Paediatric asthma essentials
Advanced ECG and arrythmia interpretation
The ABC of ECGs
Venepuncture and cannulation
Best practice in catheterisation and catheter care
And more

PDUK’scheduled courses for Autumn 2019 / Winter 2020

Improve your professional skills and keep standards high with our very popular scheduled courses:

Five-day patient assessment skills workshop CPD SO Accredited

Minor injury essentials  RCN Accredited

Minor surgical procedures

Minor ailments essentials  RCN Accredited

Minor illness triage essentials

Minor injuries in children (from 1 to 18 years of age)

Sports injuries in 8-18-year olds

X-ray interpretation of minor injuries (includes Red Dot) CPD SO Accredited

Blood results: an introduction to basic haematology and biochemistry investigations

Recognising and managing acute skin conditions in primary care

Contraception and sexual health workshop for the primary care practitioner
CPD SO Accredited

Gynae core skills for first contact practitioners

Rape and sexual assault: a victim-centred approach

The patient with chronic respiratory disease: assessment and care essentials in the community

Annual NMP V300 update course  CPD SO Accredited

Telephone triage core skills

Paediatric minor illness  RCN Accredited

Paediatric examination made easy CPD SO Accredited

Young minds in crisis: an introduction to child and adolescent mental health

The deteriorating child

6-8 Week check: update your screening skills

Review and refresh your new-born screening skills

Under the microscope:

Top news:

Anxiety and poor school attendance: What’s the link?

New research carried out by the University of Exeter has found that anxiety can be a major factor in poor school attendance amongst children and young people. The review, published in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, highlights the importance of understanding of the link between anxiety and poor school attendance, particularly when that absence is unauthorised.

The research, supported by the Wellcome Trust and the National Institute for Health Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) South West Peninsula (PenCLAHRC), also identifies the lack of high-quality research in the area. In particular, we need more studies that follow children over time to clearly work out whether the anxiety leads to poor school attendance or the other way round.

Spotting the signs early is key
School attendance was divided into the following categories: number of absences in total; excused/medical absences; unexcused absences/truancy; and school refusal, where the child struggles to attend school due to emotional distress, despite awareness from parents and teachers. Findings from eight studies suggested a clear link between anxiety and truancy, as well as a link between anxiety and school refusal as one may expect.

Lead author Katie Finning said: "Anxiety is a major issue that not only affects young people's schooling, but can also lead to worse academic, social and economic outcomes throughout life. It's important that we pick up the warning signs and support our young people as early as possible. Our research has identified a gap of high-quality studies in this area, and we urgently need to address this gap so that we best understand how to give our young people the best start in life."

Read the full study here.

On the case:

Anxiety and the family
Carly J was born in 2004 to parents Terry and Jay. She was full term and the pregnancy and delivery were uneventful. Carla settled fine and breastfeeding was going well so mother and baby were quickly discharged home. Unfortunately, a tough time came only a few days later when Terry’s own mother died following a prolonged struggle with multiple sclerosis. Her mother had brought her up as a single parent and following the funeral Terry quickly succumbed to depression and stopped breastfeeding. Wanting to be the best mother she could, she wasn’t keen on asking for help and convinced her health visitor that although feeling sad she was doing okay. Carly reached all her developmental milestones and no serious concerns were raised at any point by professionals.

Problems start to develop A bright and engaging child, Carly gradually started to feel - on a very deep, subliminal level - that her mother’s sadness was because of her. The reality was of course that her mum simply couldn’t give her the attention she needed, due to her continuing depression. Although her mother was effective in dealing with the practical care of her family, by the time Carly was 5, Terry had begun to self-medicate using alcohol. Just before her sixth birthday her dad left the family home. This was not discussed with Carly, who increasingly began to play up at school. Some years later Carly began to self-harm, requiring repeated visits to A&E.

Treatment and recovery
Referred into a local CAMHS (Children and Adolescence Mental Health Service) team, where Carly and her mother were assessed, they were put on the waiting list for family therapy. Once engaged, Carly and Terry finally began to discuss the impactful losses they had suffered since her birth. Terry began to attend AA and with the support of the recovery community, they slowly began to re-build their bond. Carly’s self-harm lessened, and she began to be more able to think about what she might like to achieve at school. Her dad Jay joined her in some family therapy sessions and her contact with him was restored. Carly is now doing much better, although further struggles in future are possible. The birth of her own first born may re-capitulate stress from her own early history and be a time when she needs increased support from health professionals and loved ones.

Question 1: What should you do if you have concerns about undiagnosed depression in a mother of a young child?

Providing information about how common a problem depression can be and what support is available can mean a crucial lifeline to someone worrying in isolation. Encouraging them to attend Parenting Programmes, local nurseries and playgroups is also an excellent tool in helping them find support.

Question 2: What should a front-line health care professional do if they see the signs of self-harm in a young person?

Self-harming behaviour is the result of overwhelming feelings that have no positive outlet. Reacting judgmentally, with disgust or even simply telling someone that they need to stop is unhelpful. Let the young person know that you will be informing their parents and GP. A list of support agencies can be found in our question and answer section. Please direct them towards one of them.

In brief...

Looking to be the best care provider you can be?
Boosting your continuous professional development and expertise is the perfect way to excel, no matter where in the health sector you work. Completing one (or more) of Practitioner Development UK’s continuing professional development (CPD) courses is a great way to achieve this.

Whether you’re looking to gain specialist knowledge of a particular subject, improve your clinical skills or work on your personal attributes, we can help. Our new brochure offers a range of opportunities for meaningful CPD, including:

1 Scheduled events: centrally located workshops where you can build on your knowledge and engage with like-minded contemporaries;

2 eLearning courses: a super-convenient resource that enables you to learn online, whenever and wherever you like;

3 In-house programmes: the flexible option, these are tailored for your staff’s needs and run by us at a location of your choice.

Try our Young minds in crisis: an introduction to child and adolescent mental health course to keep abreast of current practice and help to offer a better patient service. • PDUK. We help everyone get better.

Ask PDUK: Dr Ali Young answers your questions

Question 1: How can I view a persistently “naughty” child through a compassionate lens?

Answer: Children tend to reflect their family circumstances. Parents may be lacking the education, understanding or empowerment to set and maintain healthy boundaries. Alternatively, children or young people may be subjected to neglect or emotional, sexual or physical abuse. Taking time to ask them or their parents how they are and being prepared to really hear the answer can make a big difference. Parents may need to be pointed towards parenting programmes or nursery schools. If you have serious concerns about child safeguarding contact the child’s GP and local social services.

Question 2: Can you provide me with a list of organisations that offer support to young people who self-harm?

Answer: There are a number of organisations that you can refer patients to who self-harm. Here is a list of a few:

Bristol Crisis Service for Women: Women's Self Injury

British Red Cross Society:

Changing Faces Skin Camouflage Service: Camouflage

Childline: 0800 1111

Dabs Directory & Book Services:

National Self Harm Network:

SupportLine Telephone Helpline: Helpline: 01708 765200, email -


Question 3: What is the difference between depression and anxiety?

Answer: People who are depressed may share some symptoms with those who suffer from anxiety disorders, including sleeplessness, irritability and trouble concentrating. Doctors sometimes use SSRI medications to treat both. Those who are depressed are far more likely to be sluggish and slow, whilst anxious patients will be more likely to present as jumpy or wired.

About our expert Dr. Ali Young
Dr Young worked as a family therapist within the Children and Adolescence Mental Health Service, The Joint Agencies Child Abuse Team and various family therapy clinics in Devon for ten years. She has a doctorate in Leadership and Well-Being and is now an Associate Lecturer on the Mental Health Nursing Degree at UWE in Bristol. She also teaches mindfulness and works in private practice as a positive psychology coach.