The development of practice nursing in Scotland is being held back by a lack of recognition of its value by GPs, suggests a survey by the Royal College of Nursing.
More than 420 practice nurses, equivalent to one in five of all practice nurses in Scotland, responded to the RCN Scotland survey launched at the Scottish Practice Nurse Association conference in May.
A report on the survey findings, published last month, said that many respondents felt that being “recognised and valued” was “vital for improving practice nursing as a career”. This related in particular to how practice nurses were viewed by GPs, but also applied to practice managers, the wider NHS and patients.
“Recognising practice nurses as an important part of the ‘practice team’, and for their contribution to delivering on the quality and outcomes framework were two areas particularly singled out for improvement,” the report said.
One common recommendation from nurses was for the introduction of a national bonus scheme for achieving QOF targets.
Most practice nurses in Scotland would also like their pay and conditions to come under the Agenda for Change system.
The report said: “There was a notable body of support for ‘joining Agenda for Change’. Other common responses included calls for a ‘universal pay scale’, ‘equal pay across regions and practices’, ‘suitable banding’, or for GPs to ‘link pay and conditions in general practice to that of the NHS’.”
“The desire for a clearer, incremental pay scale appeared to be connected to desires for recognition and career progression,” it added.