- 07 September 2021
- 5 min read
Practice Nurses Should Be Paid The Same As NHS Nurses And Given A 3% Pay RiseSubscribe To Advice
A Practice Nurse we spoke with (who wishes to remain anonymous), feels she should be paid the same as the 300,000 NHS nurses. Here's what she had to say...
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Practice nurses remain an integral part of General Practice.
They make up a large percentage of the GP's work force delivering individualised patient care.
Practice Nurse care has evolved over the last 10 years, the core skills development in areas of chronic disease has been profound.
An Increase In Autonomy
A specialist skills base in managing has led to a greater role within the practice. A shift of care from secondary to primary has increased with more patients discharged at a local level.
The up skill, the competence levels and confidence means that delivering more specialist care has been more involved.
With patients registered with Practices rather than named GP's, together with the QOF (Quality And Outcomes Framework) the role development and autonomy of practice nurses is significant.
More of the workload is supported by the Practice Nurse directed by QOF which in turn has freed up GP time.
Indications of care agreed as part of the GP contract negotiations each year helps standardise care.
We are able to build in more of an individualised plan and set and meet targets, provide a structure to care delivery and provide productivity to primary care.
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Defining The Role
Practice Nurses deliver public health work, refer to other agencies, carry out health screening, engage with secondary care, and prescribe.
We work with the patients, identifying physical, psychological and social needs coming together with patients and families.
Prescribing has allowed for autonomous specialist practice and are often out skilling the GP with most up to date education in long term illnesses.
We fulfil a role that is patient centred, we listen, provide up to date education, share skilled knowledge and signpost.
QOF may not reflect our other duties in primary care.
We are involved in wound care, smoking cessation, immunisation, family planning and social prescribing amongst other things but it reflects practice productivity, standardises care and being proactive at a local level.
GP's need to be aware that the shortage of Doctors remains apparent and in turn the retaining and hiring of PN's is important for the long-term health goals in primary care.
Essentially protecting staff and providing frameworks that recognises acquisition of new skills and clear hierarchy of posts and pay scales linked to career progression seems only fair.
Nursing roles vary widely whether primary or secondary setting the level of skill, competency and autonomy required in a professional regulated role is huge.
What A Practice Nurse Thinks They Should Be Paid
Certainly, with the specialist level of care we deliver, why should skills and pay deviate?
Practice Nurses have skills of confidence, deliver high levels of education, evolving skill, independence and competence.
The skill mix is high given we are a leading force in long term conditions becoming specialists in our own right.
Just because General Practices are independent contractors of the NHS why are they excluded from a national registered pay scale.
General Practice should compete with all health care settings to help protect and maintain our primary care nurse workforce.
We are all trained, highly skilled, a recognised accredited profession and start off on the same route.
Nursing takes many different paths but build on individual skills and expertise to be able to deliver in each setting.
General Practice Nursing is no different.
A specialist role should be reflective of a band 6/7, some practices chose to pay a lower salary.
The job of Practice Nurse is a valuable position in the community and to the nursing profession, recognising skill, expertise and independence.
We have responsibility, lone working, autonomy and specialist knowledge which a band 5 scale does not reflect.
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We need to protect, respect and value our Primary Care Nurses.
Many Practice Nurses are set to retire so providing a regulated pay scale and structure will help retain current staff and be attractive to the new work force.
The recognition of current and future contributions of GPN's when meeting needs of the local population is essential.