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First practice nursing figures reveal lack of nurses in senior roles

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First ever figures find a lack of partner

There are only 15 FTE nurse partners in GP practices in England according to new figures from the HSCIC.

The HSCIC has published figures, collected in 2015, breaking down the practice nursing workforce for the first time looking at job titles and age.

The figures found that the number of total practice nurses has increased by 336 (2.2%) since 2014 to 15,398 FTE nurses. However, the figures reveal that there were 15 FTE nurse partners across England. This reflects recent QNI research which discovered that only 1.6% of their respondents were nurse partners.

The job title of practice nurse is the most prevalent with 11,826 FTE practice nurses in post with only 2661 advanced nurse practitioners.

The figures also support previous analysis by the RCN showing that practice nursing is facing a retirement bulge. Around 31% of practice nurses were aged 55 or over. In comparison 7.2% of nurses were under 35 years old and 2.6% were under 30.

'The change in scope of the GP report will enable us to provide a valuable overall picture of the NHS primary care workforce, with more detail than before,' said HSCIC Information Analysis Lead Manager Kate Bedford. 'As part of this report the new figures break down the nursing workforce into the different type of roles including practice nurses, advanced nurse practitioners, nurse specialists, trainee nurses and district nurses. A big step forward is that for the first time information on nurses and other practice staff groups are also available by gender and age breakdowns.'

'With the additional data on all staff that provide services within GP practices at the time of the collection, it is hoped that this information will shed light on current staffing numbers across all job roles in practices, allowing for better workforce planning.'

These figures do not include community staff, but does show that only 14 district nurses are employed by a general practice.

The general practice data records numbers and details of GPs in England along with information on their practices, staff, patients, and the services they provide.

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Recruitment to practice nursing will remain difficult until there is a development framework in place and until pay and conditions are comparable to those in NHS.
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Recruitment to practice nursing will remain difficult until there is a development framework in place and until pay and conditions are comparable to those in NHS.
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