Practice nurses have barely been mentioned in plans for a funding boost for general practice. An extra £550 million taken from three funds (Prime Minister's Challenge Fund, the Primary Care Infrastructure Fund and the Transformation Fund) will focus on training GPs, improving technology, and implementing new models of care.
According to the DH, the funding will support 1,417 practices in England, and will lead to the redevelopment and expansion of many clinical spaces.
Marina Lupari, professional lead for primary and community nurses at the RCN, recognises that though this is a good for nurses 'we need to identify who makes the decisions to allocate the funding [for nurses] in NHS England.
'There are no specific plans for nurses in this funding and it is my priority now to work with the people who decide this and ensure that the money goes into the areas of funding priorities.
'GPs have the ultimate say on how money is spent on nurses and so nurse leaders should enter into discussions on how money would be best spent on nurses,' Ms Lupari said.
Jenny Aston, the chair of the RCGP's General Practice Nursing Foundation, said: 'I think that a lot of the emphasis is on the GPs, instead of the whole practice. There is not much focus on nurses in the planned projects, and there is not much information on what the funding will be used for by the successful practices.'
To combat the GP workforce crisis and ease the pressure in primary care, £10 million will be used to create a workforce plan to help GPs return to the profession and encourage more students to take up careers as GPs. However, no plan has been created for primary care nurses, despite the workforce facing a similar crisis.