This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Action plan to make general practice 'the place to be'

Written by: | Published:

Time to get more nurses into general practice? Time to get more nurses into general practice?

General practice nurses (GPNs) can expect a £15 million investment from NHS England in an effort to bolster the dwindling workforce.

A 10-point action plan will target areas most in need of improvement with the hope of attracting new recruits, supporting existing GPNs and encouraging former GPNs to return to practice.

READ MORE: Positive GP survey results expose weaknesses in nursing retention

By setting out key milestones, NHS England hopes progress can be measured across general practice nursing for the first time, as an ageing and growing population puts more strain and the GPN workforce.

Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England, launched the programme on 27 July. ‘Nurses working in general practice may not have always received the recognition they deserve in the past but they are central to our plan to improve care for patients and ensure the NHS is fit for the future,’ she said.

‘That is why I am determined to ensure that there is a proper career development programme for those who choose this vital path and make it an attractive first choice for newly-qualified nurses as well as helping experienced staff take advantage of the flexibility it offers to re-enter the workforce.’

READ MORE: Retention project kicks off as NHS losing nurses at 'alarming rate'

The action plan sets out the work needed to deliver more convenient access to care, more personalised care in the community and a stronger focus on prevention and population health driving better outcomes and experience for patients.

An ‘Image of Nursing’ programme will seek to raise the profile of general practice by offering clinical placements for undergraduates and generating additional routes into the discipline.

In the plan, all nurses new to general practice will have access to an induction programme, training and mentoring and an expansion in leadership and career opportunities. The already-running national return to practice programme will now include GPNs.

READ MORE: General practice nurse the UK's most trusted profession, but more are 'desperately needed'

Wendy Preston, head of nursing practice for the Royal College of Nursing, said: ‘It’s time to raise the profile of primary care. This framework for action recognises the tremendous contribution and challenges faced by general practice nurses and their teams, and highlights their pivotal role in delivering care closer to home.

‘With large numbers of the workforce set to retire in the next few years, we must not delay making general practice an attractive career for nurses. General practice nurses are well placed and indeed deliver high quality services, meeting the needs of their practice populations every day. We need to prioritise general practice and make it the place to be.’

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.


It is all very well to make the role more attractive for new recruits but how about looking after the ones who are in the job already.
There is no pay structure which is devisive and engenders bad feeling between staff members.
Little recognition or value attached to the role.
Appreciated by patients as always but the old excuse of personal reward and vocational aspects need addressing.
Nurses have to run homes and feed families and expect an odd treat themselves...and a pension...
We need to support our colleagues not feather our own nests.
GP's are running a business and can set the payscales themselves.
Posted by: ,
In most hospitals nurses are allowed sick pay that matches their salary, in General Practice the norm is sick pay is SSP only. I have been told if I am ill or need time off for operations I must use my A/Leave allowance rather than claim the only wage earner of the family, if I am sick I will have to claim bad is that for an ANP and QN to come to terms with . It is this type of treatment that keeps Nurses out of Primary care...shame as it is a wonderful job.
Posted by: ,
Pay and conditions for practice nurses are the reasons for not taking on role - no plan. Rely on what the gp's think you are worth.
Posted by: ,
Excellent news for Practice Nurses, but how about also addressing Nurses pay, sick leave and an occupational health service for us, also why do some Practice Nurses have to self fund courses and attend study days on their own time.
Posted by: ,
Having been GPN for the past 14 months I have noticed a huge variation in pay and conditions between gp practices. Maybe this is an area that can be addressed to encourage recruits.
Posted by: ,
If the concern is raising the profile of Primary Care how about investing some of that 15 million in the District Nursing Service and other community based Nursing services.
Posted by: ,

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.