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Recognising the vital contribution of practice nurses

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Debbie Brown Throughout the coronavirus crisis, practice nurses have provided stability within the NHS, says Debbie Brown

Well, we all know what we bring every day: ability to adapt to new ways of working, creative, resourceful, flexible, knowledge and skills with emotional intelligence across the lifespan, to name a few! But do our employers know, does the Government know? What do we need to do for them to recognise the unique role of GPNs?

GPNs continue to provide stability, providing safe environments for childhood immunisations paramount in disease prevention, finding unique ways of providing wound care, some using video consultations, some still providing in their practices. Using video, telephone or e-consulting to support patients to maintain their current health, staying in contact with the shielded patients and patients with LTCs. Some are doing triage and some are working in hot hubs. Every GPN has their part to play. Some of our great GPN supporters have sent messages of support for you:

‘Practice nurses can support so much during the current pandemic—not least with their skills in assessment which can be carried out online and through virtual consultations with individuals and groups. They are often embedded in the community and given we are due to experience this pandemic for some time and all our lives will be touched by it. You will be useful to sign post many families and colleagues to local support for health and wellbeing.’ —Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive and General Secretary RCN.

‘COVID-19 has highlighted GPN leaders who have risen to the challenge to support and enable GPN colleagues to be the best they can be in complex and challenging times. They’ve shown ingenuity, leadership, empathy and support to colleagues and the wider system to enable patients in communities to have excellent care.’ —Gill Rogers, Independent Consultant.

‘In view of the current unprecedented effects of COVID-19 on the total healthcare system, an area of great importance is GPN. The QNI is continuing to work closely with our GPN colleagues with a focus on supporting GPNs to address the current fast-changing situation that they face.’ —Angie Hack, Project Manager QNI.

‘Work is ongoing to see how we can continue to build on the existing strong relationships between primary care and community services to fulfil the ‘Long Term Plan’s’ ambitions to break down the barriers between these two parts of the system. The COVID-19 emergency response is a powerful catalyst in achieving this aim.’ —Karen Storey, National Primary Care Nursing Lead at NHS England & NHS Improvement.

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, it’s appreciated. Please remember to work within your scope of practice. Keep well and BE SAFE.

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