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Nurses need a voice in community care

The Five Year Forward View for the NHS in England proposes new models of care intended to integrate and align community services with hospitals and GP practices. Some nurses are concerned that one of these models will lead to a GP takeover of community services. Nursing leaders say they must be equal partners in planning the new models.

Picture credit: Science photo library

Community nurses in England are on the move again. And while many see opportunities in the new integrated care organisations starting to take shape, others have strong reservations.

Perhaps more than any other branch of the profession, community nursing has been shunted around. For years, community nurses were part of the GP team. Then they moved to standalone organisations, before Transforming Community Care in 2008 hived them off into acute trusts, mental health trusts and community-focused organisations.

Now the Five Year Forward View (FYFV) – NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens’ vision for transforming the health service – signals another change. This time, community nursing will be part of new integrated organisations.

Although the FYFV is not prescriptive, it offers two models: the Multispecialty Community Provider (MCP), in which GPs and community services deliver integrated care; and the Primary and Acute

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