Practice nurses in Scotland are struggling to cope with an increase in demand for their services, nursing leaders have warned.
The number of face-to-face consultations with nurses based in Scottish GP surgeries rose again last year to 7.5 million, according to figures published by the Information Services Division.
The statistics show the number of consultations with practice nurses increased by 24% over the last six years.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said the ongoing rise was putting practice nurses under pressure.
“These figures show that the number of face to face consultations is increasing whilst our members are telling us that the number of practice nurses employed is not,” said RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe.
“This discrepancy then places additional pressure on staff who are trying to meet an increased demand with limited resources.”
She said there was a need to develop nursing roles and leadership in primary care.
“There needs to be dedicated practice nurse leadership within every health board area and community nurse leaders must be formally enabled to engage and influence at board level within the health boards,” she added.
The figures show 30% of the total 24.2 million consultations in GP practices in 2009-10 were with nurses.
The most common reason for an appointment with a nurse was high blood pressure.
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