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As more and more GPs are being drawn into the commissioning web, primary care and community nurses are increasingly being left to plug the gap and step into managerial positions often without any training.
It is important GPs, and especially commissioning GPs, lead from the front in ensuring primary care nurses receive the adequate level support needed to excel in their enhanced roles.
These already-stretched nurses will find additional job duties difficult to swallow as morale is arguably at an all-time low.
Training, while a necessity, is not enough. Nurses working in primary care need to feel valued, celebrated and above all respected by their colleagues and patients.
Nurses are being hit from all sides, whether it is financial – following the recent attack on pensions, or emotional – through the increasing numbers of hostile patients.
In response to the negative press and government pressures, GP Business’ sister magazine Nursing in Practice launched the ‘Respect’ campaign at last week’s event in Newcastle.
The campaign aims to shine a light on the good work being done by primary care nurses, who frequently perform their duties in the background.
The launch was well received by the event’s 400 delegates, with nurses queuing up to show their support. Nursing in Practice’s next event in Manchester on 30 May promises to shout the campaign’s message even louder.
Respect for nurses has never been so crucial as it is now. As we enter the new commissioning era, nurses can and should play a vital role on CCG boards, but many believe their voice will not deemed credible enough among GPs, managers and hospital consultants.
GPs and CCG leaders must turn the tide to ensure nurses feel valued once again. Celebrate the great work being done behind the scenes by your primary care nurses by signing the Nursing in Practice ‘Respect’ campaign e-petition.
Nursing in Practice needs 100,000 signatures to force MPs to sit up and take note of primary care and debate the creation of a national day for primary care and community nurses.
Spread the word among your practice staff, CCG and patients and help nurses receive the recognition they deserve.
As GP Business' principal reporter, Louise Naughton has a keen interest in all things health policy and GP commissioning. Before joining GP Business, Louise covered the payments beat at a financial news company and worked as a freelance reporter on local newspapers. Louise studied journalism with sociology at City University London, where she was awarded a first class honours degree.