Beyond the basics: how the role of nursing staff goes beyond the patient The perception that the job of nursing staff is just to care for the patient is certainly incorrect. These days, professionals face greater pressure to do much more than this, from caring for and supporting family members, providing consultative advice to peers, through to driving best practice standards. More nurses, more services, better care All eyes are on the GPs. A recent BMA survey has shown that, frustrated by workload and lack of time to spend with patients, a quarter of GPs are thinking of working part-time, one in 10 would like to move abroad and 34% are considering retiring in the next five years. Give patients the right advice The Roman statesman Cicero said, 'Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself'. This might have gone down well in the Senate, but it would have got him into no end of trouble had he gone into healthcare and said this to a patient. Practice nurses forgotten again It's no wonder few trainee or graduate nurses consider a career in general practice, when the important work they do is overlooked by those who should know better. 4 comments Primary care nurses can seize the day Last week saw the first strike by nursing and midwifery staff for 32 years – the first time RCM members have participated in industrial action. Students benefit from general practice work The University of Hertfordshire has set up a project with the primary aim of exploring new community placement opportunities for pre-registration student nurses undertaking the BSc (Hons) Nursing programme. More nurses should own their own practices A question was put to the Independent Nurse team at the annual QNI conference at the end of September. It sounded like a simple enough question but it momentarily stumped us. 'Why don't more nurses open and run their own practices?' Giving primary care readers the best IN is evolving to strengthen its ability to provide you with engaging, inspiring and practical information that will support you in your day-to-day practice and career development. Charge those who miss appointments A selection of letters sent in this month from our readers. PNs need more Last month, I attended RCN Congress. It was enlightening, exhilirating at times, exhausting, and a thrill to put faces to names and talk to, as Peter Carter would say, hard-working nurses. Nurses can help cope with demand Hearing about the plight of general practice and the high numbers of patients seen daily is now so commonplace it has become merely a fact of how the NHS works today. To deliver, Miliband must support PNs Primary care has been been the focus of national media attention, following the leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband's pledge to ensure everyone has the right to an appointment at their surgery within 48hrs, and sooner for those in the most need. Practice nurses should be given more power I have just been reading the disillusioned ANP's letter about her experiences in general practice and being employed by GPs. (Practice Nurses Still Treated Poorly, IN, 17 March-6 April, p14). Shelving the QOF: a good idea? Over the past couple of weeks it has emerged that GP practices in some areas of the country have reached agreement with NHS England local area teams to take a hiatus on the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) reporting until March 31 this year. Addressing discrimination in GP services Mental health problems affect one in four people and nine in 10 will be seen in primary care. But people still experience discrimination when using general practice. An insight into the nursing profession This is my last edition as editor of Independent Nurse and I would like to thank the many inspirational primary care and community nurses with whom I have worked. Limit general practice access at your peril Last week saw the emergence of a 'discussion brief' buried on the website of the Conservative Policy Forum, a group that contributes ideas for the next two years of the coalition and the 2015 manifesto. Out of the hospitals and into communities The government's gaze has been fixed on secondary care since the publication of Robert Francis' report into care failings at Mid Staffordshire Hospital. But like the fiery eye of Tolkien's Sauron on top of Mount Doom, the all-seeing eye has now moved its Support placements in general practice An informative debate about nurse education took place at last month's RCN Congress, in Liverpool. No, I don't mean the mud-slinging between the RCN and ministers over 'really stupid' plans to 'force' student nurses to work as healthcare assistants for a Regulation alone will not bring better care Today, a new NHS has been born. Taking real action on nursing education It was a privilege to be asked to provide evidence to the Willis Commission. There are three key things which need action following the report Quality with Compassion: the future of nursing education. These are: a sustainable funding model; a career pathw Vital link between social care and health As Danny Boyle's Olympic opening ceremony demonstrated, Britain is rightly proud of the NHS. Nurses working in hospitals and in the community touch the lives of the 800,000 people with dementia in the UK every day. Advanced practice must be recognised This year's Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) Forum survey is heartening and disheartening in equal measure. GP services cannot be 'rated out of ten' To improve healthcare, the effectiveness of services must be measured. But it must be done carefully, addressing issues that matter, in a way that provides an accurate reflection of the quality of care provided. Investigate new ways to influence CCGs Change is most effective in the NHS when it is initiated - and led - by health professionals, with input from patients; least effective when driven by politicians and the desire to make short-term cost savings.