The Royal College of General Practitioners has unveiled its new section for practice nurses and other non-medical primary care staff.
Launched at the RCGP annual conference in Glasgow today, the General Practice Foundation will offer education, information and networking opportunities aimed at enhancing the professional development of primary care teams.
All registered UK practice nurses are eligible to join, with members able to access online learning modules and a tailored programme of events. They will also be able to compile an e-portfolio demonstrating their professional progression.
The college said the initiative had the backing of the Royal College of Nursing and the Institute of Healthcare Management.
Honorary secretary of the RCGP council Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the GPF Steering Group, said: “Having a Foundation within the RCGP that is dedicated to the support and development of general practice nurses, practice managers and physician assistants will ensure more quality and consistency in the professional development of the three professions, as well as giving them a stronger voice in the future development of general practice across the UK.
“This is good news for general practice and, most importantly, for patients,” she said.
Speaking to Nursing Times about the proposed new foundation in November 2008, RCGP honorary treasurer Dr Colin Hunter said: “We already have a big e-learning base for GPs and it seemed to us that much of this training would also be applicable to nurses, for example.”