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Practice nurses 'held back' by GPs


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.


Readers' comments (3)

  • This I am certain, does not just apply to Scottish practice nurses. I have been struggling for 10 years to have control of my own professional development and have paid for, and used my own time for 90% of my university accredited modules.

    This year, it appears my GP employer has decided to not allow the practice to have their annual cost of living increment as they 'cannot afford it' !!!!!!!!!!

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  • Hello, I am not a consultant, a doctor or even a nurse. I am a patient! Being a patient I have some views I would like to share.

    Nurses seem to be required to continually raise the bar, for example prescribe medicines, fit as many patients as possible into GP surgery times to meet targets for greedy GP's, and they get no reward or acknowledgment. They are not valued by the GP's, RCN or the NHS. I am a manager in a successful large investment bank and we certainly wouldn’t run our business like that.

    Nurse need support, reward and acknowledgment. They should be allowed to STRIKE!

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  • I changed my career to practice nursing from hospital nursing a few years ago.I have realized that the sole purpose of the practice nurse is to make money for the GP partners.After experiencing the greed of GP partners I am leaving nursing.I am going to retrain myself for career where I will feel valued and rewarded.

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