‘Jury is still out’ on success of GP Forward View admits NHS England

Adobe Spark (3)The Director of Primary Care for NHS England, has admitted ‘the jury is still out’ on whether the GP Forward View is working. Speaking at the Health and Care Innovations Expo in Manchester, Dr Arvind Madan outlined progress on the 5-year strategy that aims to stabilise general practice and transform it for the future.

The plan, launched in April 2016, has pledged to increase funding in general practice by £2.4 billion per year and introduce 5,000 extra GPs by 2021. Additionally it seeks to reduce pressure on GPs through a new practice resilience programme.

‘We are in our teenage years and this is where we find out what the character of the programme can ultimately be,’ said Madan. He highlighted early indications suggesting a 5% increase in the number of GPs in training since last year and that they were half way through the 5000 target of other professionals working in primary care.

Madan also highlighted the role of nurses in delivering the GP Forward View: ‘Nursing teams are a vital component of the general practice workforce,’ he said. ‘They provide care and treatment across the life course and increasingly work in partnership with GPs to manage overall demand in practices and treat patients with complex conditions.’

Speaking to Independent Nurse, Dr Crystal Oldman, Chief Executive of the Queen’s Nursing Institute, said there has been some progress following the implementation of the GP Forward Practice View, particularly the introduction of the 10-point action plan to develop the role of general practice nurses.

However, she felt less positive about increases in the numbers of nurses, which she said are ‘not even close’ to what is needed. Additionally, she said she is ‘confident’ there has been no change in the reduction of workload pressures for nurses. According to Oldman, the gap is in the engagement with the nurses themselves:

‘Because they work for individual businesses they are not engaged with the wider movement of general practice nursing,’ she said.

‘I think there is increased hope, and this may mean nurses will stick around in general practices in the hope that this plan is going to make a difference to workforce pressures general practice.’

The importance of nurses to meeting the demands faced by general practice was also emphasised at the same event by Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, who described practice nurses as ‘central to our plan to ensure the NHS is fit for the future’.

Taken from Independent Nurse, published 15 September 2017.

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CNO introduces strategy for compassion in practice

A national strategy to build a culture of compassionate care across the NHS has been drawn up by Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Jane Cummings.

Published on 4 December, the vision, entitled Compassion in Practice, aims to promote six fundamental values (6Cs) of nursing: care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.

CNO Jane Cummings said, ‘I want to make sure we give our patients the very best care with compassion and clinical skill, ensure pride in our professions and build respect.’

The new strategy identifies six areas of action to achieve the 6Cs: helping people to stay independent, maximizing wellbeing and improving health outcomes; working with people to provide a positive experience of care; delivering high quality care and measuring the impact of care; building and strengthening leadership; ensuring the NHS has the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place; and supporting positive staff experience.

Practice nurses

The new strategy commits the Department of Health and NHS Commissioning Board to developing the practice nursing contribution to the strategy by involving ‘practice nursing forums’.

Professor Beal, Director of Nursing: Quality Improvement and Care, said: ‘We will do this through the LAT [local area teams of the NHS Commissioning Board] nurses and nursing networks. We want to ensure practice nurses are fully involved with the development and implementation of the vision and strategy.’

The contribution of practice nurses is highlighted in the strategy as important to helping people to stay independent, maximize wellbeing and improve health outcomes. According to Professor Beal, practice nursing contributes in a number of valuable ways: ‘Practice nurses are the first point of contact for patients, know their patients, work closely with GPs and have expertise in long term conditions. They also carry out immunization and screening and they spend time giving patients high quality advice on their conditions, allowing them to sign post patients to other services as required.’

The strategy will be run over three years. Professor Beal says, ‘We are committed to having the detailed implementation plans in place by 31 March 2013.’

The strategy comes after an eight-week consultation involving over 9000 nurses, midwives, care staff and patients.

Taken from Practice Nursing, published 14 Dec 2012.