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Scrapping the practice nurse lead role would be costly and 'short-sighted'

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The demise of the practice nurse lead or adviser role in England would be 'costly and short-sighted', according to research by Independent Nurse's sister title Practice Nursing.

Following the abolition of PCTs from April, the role of the practice nurse lead or adviser is precarious, with some post-holders already having been told they will not have a role in the new Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) system.

Practice nurse leads or advisers undertake a range of initiatives including identifying practice nurses' need for specific training, communicating policy and practice updates, organising study days, arranging for funding of training, advising practice nurses on clinical governance issues, writing best practice policies, reviewing significant incidents and representing practice nurses at policy and professional forums.

But Practice Nursing has reported some practice nurse leads have been told that their positions will not be transferred to CCGs. Others have received no information at all about the future of their roles.

Without practice nurse leads or advisers in each area, it will be much more difficult to coordinate and communicate reforms and clinical developments to practice nurses. This could undermine the process of reform itself. And according to Practice Nursing's survey of practice nurses, 95% of respondents want this role to continue.

Practice nurse leads and advisers can ensure that practice nurses are informed and have a voice in decisions that are made about the care that they deliver to patients.

Practice Nursing would like to see practice nurse lead/adviser roles in England transferred to either CCGs or the NHS Commissioning Board's area teams, to ensure that their work can continue.

To ensure that the decision-makers know your views, complete the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/pnleads. The results will be sent to the chief nursing officer (CNO), Jane Cummings.

Liam Benison, publisher and editor of Practice Nursing, has written to the CNO. Download his open letter here: www.practicenursing.com/openletter

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

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