Nurses are set to gain more opportunities to develop new skills in general practice and other community roles as part of a £10m investment to recruit more GPs.
Developing the role of nursing staff and other primary care workers such as pharmacists is a key aspect of the NHS England initiative, which aims to tackle workforce pressures in general practice.
Pilot training hubs in GP practices with the most pressing staff need will offer training and development for nurses as part of a broader plan to enable practices to accommodate more appointments and improve care, particularly for frail, elderly patients.
Health Education England’s medical director and director of education and quality, Professor Wendy Reid, said the regional hubs will bring together “the wider expertise of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other specialisms tailored to the regional needs of patients locally. All of this underpinned by a more equitable and easier career route within a highly rewarding part of the NHS”.
The £10 million of funding is part of the NHS Five-Year Forward View, which aims to tackle workforce issues.
Health Education England said it is working with partners towards more effective “commissioning, integration and development” for practice and district nurses.
It reaffirmed its commitment to the ongoing training and development of nurses, with a review – the Shape of Caring – due this year.
A spokesperson said: “HEE is setting out clear education and training and career pathways for district and general practice nursing, creating an educational framework that will include education commissioning service specifications; a career framework supported by educational standards; definitions of the CPD requirements of the current workforce to ensure that it is equipped with the skills and flexibilities to deliver new models of care.”
The NHS England initiative will also try to increase the number of family doctors through greater recruitment, stemming the number leaving general practice and persuading doctors to return to the profession or remain as part-time doctors, rather than leave the profession.