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The role of GPNs – HEE Primary Care Workforce Commission

Published: 3 December, 2015

The recent report commissioned by Health Education England (HEE) from the Primary Care Workforce Commission and chaired by Professor Martin Roland, is shaping much of the focus of the Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) on future workforce planning. This is great news for GPNs as it strongly recommends to NHS England and HEE the need to improve recruitment and retention in primary care nursing as it recognises our numbers need to increase. The report recognises that there has been a lack of opportunities for nurses in primary care to develop their skills despite the wide range of responsibilities they have very successfully taken on, particularly in the management of long term conditions. The report proposes that nurses could take on substantially more care but that they must be supported through well- defined educational opportunities and paths for career progression. The main recommendations with regard to GPNs of the report are that:

1.Measures equivalent to the BMA’s ‘Ten Point Plan’ agreed for GPs are needed to improve recruitment and retention in primary care nursing. The number of general practice nurses and community nurses needs to increase in order to address both current shortfalls and the number of nurses due to retire in the next 5-10 years.

2.Nurses should have opportunities for professional development, including the acquisition of advanced clinical skills and leadership skills. Particular provision should be made for foundation programmes with minimum training standards for registered nurses who transition from secondary to primary care.

3.Placements for pre- and post-registration nurses in primary care should be commissioned as part of routine nurse training

Zoe Berry
Programme Director (General Practice Nursing)
Health Education Thames Valley

Read the full report here: The future of primary care Creating teams for tomorrow, HEE July 2015

Last updated: 21 May, 2018

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