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Time to end inaccurate perceptions of general practice nursing

Practices have been maintaining non-COVID care throughout the pandemic

General practices have been at the forefront of the NHS pandemic response, delivering vaccine appointments while maintaining non-COVID care throughout

The NHS is facing some of the most severe pressures it has seen in its 70-year history. The multifactorial and increasing demands (ageing society, long-term illness, deprivation, high demand and a ‘consumer-led’ culture) have contributed to general practice experiencing significant and growing strain.

Practices have been at the forefront of the NHS response to the COVID-19 outbreak, delivering vaccine appointments and ‘hot hubs’ while maintaining non-COVID care throughout.

General practice the beating heart of the NHS and essential to prevention agenda

The health and social care committee chair Jeremy Hunt opened a new inquiry into the future of general

General practices have been at the forefront of the NHS pandemic response, delivering vaccine appointments while maintaining non-COVID care throughout

General practice nurses have been at the forefront of the NHS pandemic response, delivering vaccine appointments, while maintaining non-COVID care throughout
Picture: iStock

The NHS is facing some of the most severe pressures it has seen in its 70-year history. The multifactorial and increasing demands (ageing society, long-term illness, deprivation, high demand and a ‘consumer-led’ culture) have contributed to general practice experiencing significant and growing strain.

Practices have been at the forefront of the NHS response to the COVID-19 outbreak, delivering vaccine appointments and ‘hot hubs’ while maintaining non-COVID care throughout.

General practice the beating heart of the NHS and essential to prevention agenda

The health and social care committee chair Jeremy Hunt opened a new inquiry into the future of general practice and said: ‘General practice is in crisis now with an utterly exhausted and demoralised workforce and patients increasingly uncertain of what they can expect. Yet it remains the beating heart of the NHS and essential to the prevention agenda.’

The inquiry will be one of the most important undertaken this year. It will consider access to services and the impact of changes introduced during the pandemic such as virtual consultations.

The NHS England long term plan included a commitment to £4 billion of investment in primary care. With struggles to recruit and retain staff, funding will be a key issue; an increase in the global sum would help practices to employ a stable workforce and provide continuity of care.

National messaging that often refers to just GPs puts pressure on practices that are aiming to be as lean as possible by making sure the right people are seen, by the right professions, in the right time frame.

Enhance general practice nursing as desirable career destination

The inquiry could explore the popular understanding and acceptance of nursing and new roles in general practice to end inaccurate perceptions that these are ‘second best’ to the GP.

We have much to be proud of – general practice has the potential to be a fantastic job full of variety and flexibility. A positive media campaign explaining our skills, experience and qualifications, allied with an inquiry that listens to the challenges and offers practical and pragmatic solutions and parliamentary authority, could enhance public understanding and portray general practice as a desirable career destination for all professions again.


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