Nurses join team of experts set up to help under pressure GP practices

Royal College of General Practitioners has created a service to support GP practices. 

Nurses are part of a new team set up to help GP practices navigate increasing workloads and workforce pressures.

As more general practices need support, a group has been assembled to ease workload pressures
Picture: SPL

The group, assembled by The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), is made up of 70 expert health professionals including practice nurses, GPs, practice managers and pharmacists.

The RCGP service will include practice visits, assessments and recommendations for a tailored programme of support to ‘put them on a more secure footing’.

Direct approach

A diagnostic assessment and action plan will cost £7,500 plus VAT, per practice. According to the RCGP this will be met by the local clinical commissioning group (CCG) in the majority of cases, but some practices might choose to approach the college directly and independently from their CCG or NHS England.

RCGP nurse champion and advanced nurse practitioner Jennifer Aston said: ‘More practices need support than are probably asking for it and it can be difficult for them to take time to reflect on any issues.

‘It only takes one element of the practice to not be working effectively to make an impact. If any practices who do benefit from this service could share their experience it might encourage others to appreciate why this could help in the long-term.’

Forward thinking

NHS England has pledged £16m for practice resilience in its GP Forward View budget for the current financial year. But the RCGP’s recent interim assessment of the budget revealed that by the end of December 2016, only £2.5m of this had been spent and only 219 of the 1,453 eligible practices had received any of the funding.

The college is calling on NHS England to roll over any underspend from the practice resilience programme at the end of this current financial year, so that it can be spent in the next financial year.

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