Rebuild general practice nursing
At the end of March, the British Medical Association (BMA) launched a new campaign ‘Rebuild General Practice’, highlighting familiar issues of recruitment, retention and patient safety (http://rebuildgp.co.uk). After the 2015 junior doctor's dispute with former health secretary Jeremy Hunt, which led to the first general strike across the NHS in 40 years, it was a surprise to see Mr Hunt on stage at the launch event as a supporter of the campaign. The former foes have put their differences aside to highlight the crisis engulfing general practice.
Let us not forget that Mr Hunt was health secretary for the General Practice Forward View (GPFV) – the 2016 plan which aimed to provide 5000 extra GPs by 2020 (NHS England, 2016). Rebuild General Practice states that there are currently 1608 fewer fully qualified full time GPs than in 2015 – which implies the GPFV did not meet its objectives. While, naturally, the BMA are focussing on the doctor side of general practice, what about the nurses? While general practice is on the agenda, we need nursing leaders to speak up for general practice nurses and the issues affecting them.
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