Nurses at the centre of primary care
The future of general practice is a hot topic at the moment, with discussions focusing on how best to staff it and whether the partnership model works in 2022. It is essential that nurses have a voice in these conversations, so I was pleased to see Heather Randle, RCN professional lead for education and primary care, addressing the Health and Social Care Select Committee recently on the topic of the future of general practice. Heather eloquently highlighted the need to put nurses at the centre of primary care.
As Heather pointed out, it is not always appropriate for GPs to be the person in charge of a patient, particularly if they have chronic diseases. As autonomous highly skilled practitioners, nurses know how to manage the care of many patients and are used to escalating or referring on when necessary. For instance, nurses already manage the majority of diabetes and asthma care.
Heather also highlighted that patient attitudes need to change. Some people have the misconception that seeing a nurse is inferior to seeing a GP, but nurses are often the best person to provide the care a patient needs. Perhaps a national campaign explaining this would help to shift those perceptions.
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