10-point action plan for general practice nursing

NHS England has launched a 10-point action plan to increase recruitment into general practice nursing and to develop the role that nurses working in primary care have. The plan forms the nursing element of the General Practice Forward View, published in April 2016, which pledged a major expansion of primary care services by 2020/21.

The 10-point action plan, led by Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, aims to increase the nursing workforce within general practice in response to the rising demand by attracting new recruits, supporting existing general practice nurses, and encouraging return to practice. More general practice nurses are needed due to the increasing pressures on primary care, driven by the ageing population, an increase in long-term conditions and the rise in provision of care in the community, in addition to recruitment and retention problems. The action plan is backed by £15 million funding and will aim to prioritise investment where improvements are needed most.

The 10 points of the plan, outlined in the document General Practice – Developing Confidence, Capability and Capacity, are to:

  • Raise the profile of general practice nursing and promote general practice as a first destination career.
  • Extend leadership and educator roles
  • Increase the number of preregistration placements in general practice
  • Establish induction and preceptorship programmes
  • Improve access to “return to practice” programmes
  • Embed and deliver a radical upgrade in preventative medicine
  • Support access to educational programmes to deliver national priorities as set out in the Five Year Forward View
  • Increase access to clinical academic careers and advanced clinical practice programmes, including advanced general practice roles
  • Develop healthcare support worker, apprenticeship and nursing associate career pathways
  • Improve retention.

As well as increasing the support given to general practice nurses and enhancing their career pathways, it is hoped that the action plan will help to drive better patient outcomes by delivering more convenient access to care, more personalised care in the community, and a stronger focus on preventative medicine.

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