Practice nurse Debbie Brown has been appointed as a practice nurse consultant in Lewisham CCG, the first role of its kind in London.
Ms Brown’s role will include developing training opportunities for the 98 nurses and 28 healthcare assistants in Lewisham and developing younger nurses to take leadership roles in the future. Her first priority will be to update the database of nurses in Lewisham to see where training opportunities can be expanded.
To keep up to date with the current status of nurse training every practice nurse in Lewisham will send Ms Brown their revalidation date which will be input into the database.
‘This is so I know who needs to be supported first. A big part of my role is to ensure that every single nurse is ready for revalidation and supported to be able to have a successful appraisal,’ said Ms Brown.
The role will also involve encouraging students from nearby universities to be able to complete placements in general practice. In order to be able to support the increased numbers of students coming into practice, Lewisham CCG is training 25 nurses to become student nurse mentors. ‘So far we have students coming in from Kings College University, London Southbank and Greenwich University,’ Ms Brown said.
‘The nurse consultant role is about leadership, about supporting practice nurses but it is also about growing and getting nurses to reach their full potential and bringing up leaders for the future.‘It is about giving practice nurses the opportunities to learn new skills and develop specialist skills.’
The role was created in response to the Willis Report into nursing education, released in 2012, and the Francis Report, from 2013, identifying a lack of nursing leadership in England, particularly in general practice and primary care.