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Future-proofing practice nursing

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In an effort to address the recruitment crisis facing practice nursing, NHS Leeds West CCG has set up a 12-month preceptee practice nurse pilot project. The project has received backing from the very top of the organisation with Philomena Corrigan, chief executive for NHS Leeds West CCG and a nurse by background, taking part in some practical elements of the scheme.

Practice nurses (PNs) have a specialist role delivering differentiated (routine) and undifferentiated (acute) care to patients from the cradle to the grave. Feedback from GP practices, nationally and locally, has made it clear there is a scarcity in the number of appropriately qualified PNs helping to provide key primary care services. We've all heard of the issues affecting general practice but at times the PN role is forgotten.

Based on the latest available figures in Leeds there is an imbalance in ages of working PNs, with the majority at the older end of the spectrum. The PN workforce demographics for Leeds West CCG show that one in 10 of the team are employed as treatment room nurses and three in five are aged over 45 years. One in five is over 55.

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