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More primary care nurses needed, says NHS boss

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Training more community and primary care nurses will be required to overhaul the way primary care functions, a NHS report has stated.

The Five Year Forward View report highlights the importance of sustained funding in general practice and primary care.

This means that more community and primary care nurses will need to be trained in new roles as well as retaining the current workforce and encouraging nurses who have left the profession to return to primary care.

As well as focusing on expanding the primary care nursing workforce the report also spotlights that more funding is needed to ensure primary care can cope with the demands placed on it.

Three new models of primary care were outlined in the report, a multispeciality community provider, primary and acute care systems and urgent and emergency care networks.

The report says that larger GP practices will be required to bring in senior nurses to carry out more clinically demanding tasks, so that GPs are able to take on care that is traditionally carried out in hospitals such as minor surgery and tests.

'It is a very exciting time for primary care nurses. We have always said that these things need to happen but there was never any concrete plans to make it happen. Even though this is just a document, for me it's ticking all the right boxes,' said Marina Lupari, primary care advisor at the RCN.

Crystal Oldman, chief executive of the QNI, said: 'We support the opportunity to develop local solutions for local communities.

'However, we do need to focus on the leadership skills of community and practice nurses to ensure that there can be more nurse leaders in the future.'
There will also be a drive to increase the number of community and practice nurses. This will be an increased investment in new roles and in return to practice and retention schemes for the current workforce. HEE recently launched a Come back to Nursing campaign which encourages all nurses who have left the profession to come back to practice in the nursing setting of their choice. The aim of the report was to set out a series of ways in which the NHS can adapt to address the challenges it faces, including a lack of funding.

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