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GP inquiry to include role of practice nurses

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A major piece of work by the King’s Fund is set to assess the practice nurses’ contribution to care in GP surgeries.

Last week the think tank launched its ‘GP Inquiry’, which will assess the quality of care provided by general practices over the next 18 months.

A nurse, Ursula Gallagher, who is director of quality, clinical governance and clinical practice at Ealing PCT, is on the expert panel advising the inquiry. She told Nursing Times that she wanted to ensure the inquiry recognised the significant contribution of practice nurses to primary care services and the importance of nurse-led models of care.

Ms Gallagher said: ‘One of the reasons I am here is to make sure that practice nurses are included. Modern general practice is about teamwork. A lot of the contract work under QOF is done by nurses – running diabetes clinics, running asthma clinics in general practice.

‘There are some new models – we have nurses starting social enterprises and becoming contract holders. They employ salaried GPs,’ she added.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I feel GP Inquiry should definately include Practice nurses, they are the backbone of QOF within primary care. Before I became a NP I worked in a busy surgery undertaking 70% of the Chronic disease clinics, it is heavy going and often not recognised as significant by the GP's. Practice nurses are highly skilled clinicians whereas much of the income is generated by thier work but not rewarded fairly. Practice nurses must be allowed to comment on their work and how it affects patient care as a whole.

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  • During the instigation of QOF, I moved to a new practice to improve the chronic disease management care of patients. In my old job, the GPs had allowed the nurse team to exceed QOF requirement based on the then CHD Framework pre 2004.

    When QOF came out, my 'new' GP employers responded by ticking the QOF boxes at repeat prescription and so my role has reverted back to 40% health care assistant work load by doing bloods, ECGs and smoking cessation instead. I am so frustrated and cannot risk leaving as I have had such bad experiences of GP employment before and them not wanting to hear from a nurse, my concernes of accountability. Since I have been sacked for voicing my concerns on two occasions I am reluctant to vote with me feet.

    How stupid a situation is this from a group of so-called clinical professionals who the Government want to give more power to in one breath, yet have to force them to do the right thing by introducing QOF so it is payment on results?

    Has anyone up the hierarchy yet twigged that GPs (generally speaking) appear to make abysmal managers and that practice managers are not clinically aware and are often just puppets of the bad management that had traditionally been acceptable in general practice.

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