Practice nurses based in London work longer hours and more unpaid overtime, research by the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) has found.
General Practice Nursing in the 21st Century: Report for London, follows the practice nursing report released by the charity earlier this year investigating the state of practice nursing across the UK. The QNI extracted regional information from the results of the nationwide survey and released the London results this morning. Around 382 respondents said they were based on London, representing 11.2% of the total respondents.
These responses were then compared with the UK-wide results. In London 31.9% worked between 36 to 40 hours per week for their main job, compared to 22.6% across the nation. Furthermore, 51% of practice nurses in London worked evening sessions, compared to 32.6% across the country. Additionally, 20.2% of nurses in London worked on weekends, compared to 18.5% in the UK. Workload pressures are also greater in London, with 64% reporting that their nursing team did not have the right number of appropriately qualified and trained staff to meet the growing needs of patients, compared to 55% of respondents across England.
Issues with placements in general practice were also identified by the survey. Around 19.6% of practice nurses in London said their employer offered placements to nursing students, compared to 27% nationwide. The QNI labelled this 'problematic', as 31.2% of practice nurses revealed intentions to retire in the next five years.
‘Despite the slightly greater proportion of NMC qualified mentors reported in London, less than a fifth of London respondents said their practice provided placements for pre-registration nursing students, even fewer than for the UK as a whole,’ said Crystal Oldman, chief executive of the QNI. ‘This is of particular concern, especially given that more than a third of practice nurses in London plan to retire by 2020. Growing the workforce will be challenging without substantive placements, supported by qualified mentors and sign-off mentors in practice.’
The report concludes with a series of required actions which includes the development of a robust workforce to determine the numbers of practice nurses required to develop new practice nurses to meet London's health needs, structured support for new nurses, and consideration of the current and potentially greater contribution of practice nurse, in meeting the health needs of London’s population, particularly in the context of declining numbers of GPs.