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Scottish PNs may be missing out in GP contract

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Practice nurses in Scotland are at risk of missing out on appropriate remuneration because of a lack of information, the RCN has warned.

Audit Scotland published a review earlier this month on the impact of the new GP contract, which was introduced in 2004 and is in operation in 88% of the country's 1,030 practices. The watchdog concluded there was evidence the contract, including the quality and outcomes framework, had improved care for some patients but it had cost £160m more than expected in its first three years.

However, the RCN said it was concerned at the lack of data on work carried out by nurses or their pay included in the audit, despite their growing role in meeting QOF targets – reflected by an 11% increase in overall consultations carried out by practice nurses between 2003 and 2007.

Theresa Fyffe, director of RCN Scotland, said: 'We urge the Scottish Government and health boards to ensure that GPs provide data on all the staff they employ in order to allow robust workforce planning to take place and to ensure that the contribution of all staff within GP practices, including practice nurses, are appropriately recognised and rewarded.'

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