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RCGP launches practice nursing competencies

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The competencies aim to standardise practice nurse The competencies aim to standardise practice nurses

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has released its updated general practice nursing competencies.

The competencies, which were updated by the RCGP's General Practice Foundation, are designed to be used alongside the recently released general practice nursing and district nursing framework. They cover general practice nurses, advanced nurse practitioners and healthcare assistants.

Jenny Aston, the chair of the RCGP's practice nursing group, said: 'These standards are for general practice nurses about their employment and a commitement that doctors should train their nurses, advanced nurse practitioners and healthcare assistants.'

The competencies not only look at what each profession should be aiming for to be 'exemplary' but also what primary care organisations and GP practices can do for the nurses.

For primary care settings these include ensuring that workforce planning at a strategic level includes general practice nurses and healthcare assistants, ensure that educational contracts with higher education institutions include the learning and development needs of general practice nursing staff, ensure that service specification in contracts for primary care providers include quality indicators for general practice nursing training.

Good general practice surgeries should include a robust recruitment and selection process for the employment of nurses and healthcare assistants and ensure that there are clear lines of accountability for all nurses and healthcare assistants.

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GPs are not happy to allow nurses out of practice to train during the working day unless they are getting paid to do so! Nurses are being trained 'in house' by people not trained to be trainers and lacking suitable skills.
One example. I had to jump through hoops to make sure I was trained to insert the contraceptive inplant. One of the criteria was I had to have my family planning training. I am registerd with the faculty of sexual and reproductive health and originally acredited by the RCN. When i left the nurse still working there had a small family planning session in her midwifery training (which doesn't fulfil the criteria) and a GP was going to show her how to do it. This is a single example. The list can go on. Until nurses stand up for themselves and stop being dominated by GPs and Practice Managers they will never get adequate training!!!
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