Nursing in Practice March/April 2019 (issue 107) - Page 23

23 Initiatives to retain existing practice nurses Expansion of the primary care workforce The Royal College of Nursing’s advanced level nurse practitioner qualifi cation will be credentialed, allowing experienced nurses to gain offi cial recognition for their extended skills. Those considering retirement will be offered the chance to broaden their role into areas including education, mentoring and leadership. Although the contract states its intention to put more nurses into primary care, it also accepts that there has been ‘an absence of suffi cient levels of GP and nurse supply’. There will now be funding for fi ve additional roles in primary care: pharmacists, social prescribing link workers, physician associates, physiotherapists and community paramedics. By 2024, these roles will become ‘an integral part of core general practice throughout England’. The intention is for the extra roles to ease the workload of GPs, and it may also see practice nurses deal with more complex cases. The new GP contract for England is the biggest change to GP services since 2004. We look at the changes that will directly impact the work of practice nurses over the next fi ve years, and the future of the profession Online consultations In an effort to fulfi l the vision set out in the long-term plan, the contract states that all patients will have the right to online consultations by 2021. The agreement does not specify which members of the practice team can perform online consultations, but with the general trend to expand primary care teams and reduce the burden on GPs, practice nurses should expect to be delivering online consultations in two years. The seven national service specifi cations The formation of primary care networks and the extension of the core GP contract will see seven service specifi cations introduced to fulfi l the requirements of the long-term plan, many of which will be delivered by practice nurses. The seven specifi cations are: Structured medications review. Enhanced health in care homes. Anticipatory care requirements. Personalised care. Early cancer diagnosis. CVD prevention and diagnosis. Tackling neighb ourhood inequalities. March/April 2019