Nursing in Practice March/April 2019 (issue 107) - Page 6

6 NEWS HEE should fund training for GPNs, says GP partnership review New GP contract to see ‘at least 2% rise’ in practice nurse pay The new GP contract for England will allow every practice in the country to increase the pay of practice staff by at least 2%. The new five-year contract for GP services, agreed between the British Medical Association (BMA) and NHS England at the end of January, will guarantee £405m of investment in the first year, part of which can be used to increase staff pay. The BMA’s General Practice Committee has recommended that practice staff receive a pay increase ‘of at least 2%’, thanks to the increased funding in the contract, combined with the decrease in indemnity costs to practices that come with the agreement of a new practice indemnity scheme covering GPs and all staff, funded by NHS England. From 2020 onward, the global sum paid to GP practices will continue to increase, enabling practices to increase staff pay at least in line with predicted inflation. If inflation rises above predicted levels, the BMA and NHS England ‘will agree a mechanism for readjustment’, designed to protect practices and allow them to continue paying their core costs, such as staff salaries. The agreement, described by NHS England as the ‘biggest reform to GP services in 15 years’, will see practices receive £1bn worth of funding over five years. NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens claimed the contract represented the ‘biggest boost to primary care in more than 15 years’, and said it would ‘break down the divide between family doctors and community health services’. BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said the agreement will ensure staff pay is covered. Dr Vautrey said: ‘After years of derisory pay uplifts for staff and tightening financial pressures on practices, we have been able to negotiate a five-year deal guaranteeing investment that covers pay and expenses, and at least matches predicted inflation. ‘This package sets us on the road to rebuilding not only general practice but also the wider primary healthcare team; delivering an expanded workforce embedded within practices and giving GPs a leadership role in bringing together the community healthcare team.’ March/April 2019 This deal ends years of derisory pay uplifts for staff Join the discussion Have your say at nursingin Health Education England (HEE) should work to develop the role of the practice nurse with ‘funded training’ and ‘targeted investment’, according to the GP partnership review. The report of the independent review, led by GP partner Dr Nigel Watson, highlights the ‘increasingly important’ role practice nurses play in primary care. It calls on HEE to recognise their role with ‘an agreed programme to develop these roles’, with funding for training. Dr Watson suggested there could be a practice nurse equivalent of the GP trainer’s grant, where practices would be given money for having nurses placed within practices. ‘The long-term aim should be to develop an integrated nursing team which includes practice, district and specialist nurses,’ the report says. Practices in England currently receive £8,146 per year for taking on GP trainees, but there is no national funding for taking practice nurses. The GP partnership review was commissioned in 2018 by then health secretary Jeremy Hunt to assess the viability of the current model of general practice, and make recommendations that would enhance it. Children should have extra health visitor appointment at three A group of MPs has called on the Government to introduce an additional health visitor appointment for children between the age of three and three-and-a-half years. The Commons health select committee, chaired by GP and Independent Group MP Dr Sarah Wollaston, suggested the extra mandated visit would ensure ‘potential problems that may inhibit the ability of children to be ready to start school are identified and addressed’. The extra visit would complement the current five mandated visits, with the priority being that every child should receive these visits ‘in a manner that does not compromise their quality’. The recommendation features among a number from the committee to revise the Healthy Child Programme, which it says is ‘not adequately supporting the improvement in health and wellbeing and reductions in health inequalities which it aims to do’. The MPs have called for a revision to the programme to see interventions begin before conception and better links between health visiting, midwifery, obstetrics and primary care, with an ‘explicit objective’ that women can see the same health visitor or midwife at each visit. The recommendations are published in the committee’s report entitled First 1,000 days of life, which also criticised the way services are funded and calls on the Government to shift the way money is spent, claiming ‘structural problems in the way Government departments