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Pioneering nurse takes on practice partnership in Norfolk

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A nurse practitioner in Norwich has become the first in Norfolk to become a partner at a general practice surgery.

Maxine Copson (pictured) has been made a full partner at St Stephen’s Gate surgery in Norwich alongside the surgery’s eight GPs.

As a result, Ms Copson is now one of a small but growing number of nurse partners based in GP practices across England. She told Nursing Times that becoming a partner was an acknowledgement of her ‘input and value’ at the surgery.

‘I can raise the nursing voice in the practice and I also feel I am the patients’ advocate,’ she said. ‘It was a big decision because it means that I have become self-employed but there is not the risk that I could be made redundant.

‘It is definitely something other nurses should be striving for, it is a very positive step for nurses,’ she added.

Nurses, along with practice managers and other staff at GPs surgeries, have been able to become partners since 2004, when the government introduced new rules in a bid to recognise the contribution made by other professionals to practices.

However, a trickle of nurses making the move to become partners has yet to become a flood, and there remain no firm figures on how many nurse partners there are.  

Rosemary Cook, director of the Queen’s Nursing Institute, said that nurse partner numbers were ‘creeping up’.

In particular, she said nurse partners could help develop innovative services for practices that focused on health promotion and ill-health prevention.

‘Nurse partners are at the vanguard of pioneering new nurse practice and leading a quiet revolution,’ she said. ‘The Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery is saying that nurses need to be more business like and nurse partners exemplify this thinking.’

Are you a nurse partner? Help Nursing Times build up an accurate picture of nurse partner numbers across the UK by emailing steve.ford@emap.com

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Congratulations to my colleague however I think that opportunities such as these are going to be extremely difficult to secure. Many practices I know of are happy to replace their nurses with HCAs - much of this I suspect is to do with the cost cutting and points mean prizes mentality that seems to have taken hold of many of our Gp colleagues in recent years. The DOH whilst advocating the entrepreneurial skills of nursing offers little support in the way of training and business opportunities. The Gps are happy to keep us in our place out of sight, out of mind.

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