A toolkit has been launched to encourage primary care nurses to become more involved in commissioning services.
Developed by the London Network for Nurses and Midwives (LNNM), the toolkit is designed to help nurses working in PCTs better understand government policy on commissioning.
It provides nurses with an explanation of commissioning, the different ways services can be commissioned and its relevance to public health and long-term conditions.
It also gives practical advice for nurses wanting to become involved in the process.
There are several barriers to nurses becoming involved in commissioning, the document says, including inter-professional conflicts, little engagement and understanding, and a lack of expertise in procurement, contracting and business.
The toolkit provides information on everything from the key elements of commissioning to writing a business plan and evaluating healthcare provision.
Stephen Leyshon, co-chairperson of the LNNM’s primary care group and lecturer at King’s College London, said that nurses must contribute to practice-based commissioning.
‘We are the single largest professional body and spend the most amount of time with service users,’ he said.
‘As such, we have the potential to act as advocates: working with the public to identify needs, shape policy, influence service delivery and improve care outcomes.’
He added: ‘This is particularly true in light of the changes developing around Modernising Nursing Careers, which sees nurses delivering, leading, coordinating and commissioning care.’
The document is on the primary care page of www.lnnm.co.uk.