IN 2013 the Solihull CCG practice nurse network started to feel the impact of the shortage of practice nurses. We were struggling to fill posts and 25% of our practice nurses were over 55. This is a picture reflected regionally and nationally.
However, practice nursing is often isolated and a lack of national data has hampered efforts to address workforce planning and other key issues for practice nurses. We now desperately need to attract a new generation of practice nurses to primary care. We need to showcase the crucial work we do and share our vast knowledge.
In Solihull, we have nurses carrying out minor operations, contraception sessions including insertion and removal of IUCD and implants, diabetic, respiratory and travel health specialists who are all able to offer students a worthwhile placement. But the challenges to organise this seemed impossible to resolve. Our CCG comprises 32 GP providers and 90 practice nurses. The challenge seemed to be in coordinating such a large group of people to carry out the placements.