Raising the profile of the general practice nursing role is key to helping to retain and expand the workforce, according to a report published by Health Education England.
The report, Recognise, Rethink, Reform, examines the challenges involved in boosting the practice nursing workforce. It states that planners must work to improve training capacity for the general practice nurses by providing access to accredited training to equip them for each level of their role; as well as the development of educator roles to cover all CCG areas, including the promotion of mentor training for all practice nurses to retain the knowledge and expertise of existing staff. It also recommends the development of a sustainable and accessible toolkit and web based resource to support the implementation of general practice nursing workforce initiatives.
‘It is important to recognise the pivotal role that general practice nurses play in delivering care to patients up and down the country and the need to make sure that we have the numbers we need for the future,’ said Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Director of Nursing and Deputy Director of Education and Quality, Health Education England. ‘There is already some great work happening locally such as training hubs that enable nurses to develop their skills in specialist areas and progress their careers within general practice. We want to make sure that this type of best practice is shared.
The report focused on four key areas. These include ways to raise the profile as a first career choice, ensuring appropriate training and support is available for new GPNs to; enhancing the role with professional development and career progression; and expanding the healthcare support workforce with standardised training and career paths.