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General Practice Nursing workforce plan

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A new report is being developed to explore ways for developing the current models of the general practice nursing workforce.

An event, held on 28 November, hosted by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Foundation, Committee of General Practice Education Directors (COGPED) and Health Education Wessex aimed to bring together representatives from Health Education England (HEE), NHS England, the Department of Health (DH), the RCGP, COGPED and the Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI) as well as members from the 13 Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) in England.

They debated the future of the general practice nursing workforce in England with the view to developing a roadmap with recommendations to sustain the level of general practice teams for the future.

The event was opened by Mike Pringle, the president of the RCGP and featured a number of speakers including Michelle Mello from NHS England and Crystal Oldman, the chief executive of the QNI. They all presented on issues facing the current practice nursing workforce and the impact on primary care.

Delegates then participated in a series of workshops exploring the role of educational commissioning, current models for developing the workforce, the need for a national strategy and the practice nursing career pathway.

The key recommendations from the event were:

To develop national and regional leadership for practice nurses

• To develop a national practice nurse education network

To work with the National Community Nursing Strategy Project to develop a career pathway

To increase pre-registration placements in GP

To develop national education standards

To develop a GP style VTS programme - based on the RCGP Competence Framework

The next step would be to submit a full paper to the Community Nursing Strategy Project Board meeting at the end of January which will be presented by Wendy Nicholson, professional officer for school and community Nursing at the DH, and to begin to discuss the implementation of this plan with other key stakeholders including the devolved countries.

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