This site is intended for health professionals only

GPN Manifesto 2024: Reinstate time for long-term conditions

GPN Manifesto 2024: Reinstate time for long-term conditions

This is the fourth of 10 points of priorities for general practice nursing for this year, launched to form a manifesto for the profession. Look out for each of the points as they are published one by one, each supported by a nurse working in or closely related to general practice.

Workforce shortages, soaring patient demand, and pay and conditions that fall far short of those on offer to nurses working in secondary care are just some of the ongoing issues faced by general practice nurses (GPNs). Nurses share the actions they believe could be taken by practices, PCNs, the wider NHS, the government – and GPNs themselves.

We know that this is only the start of the conversation about challenges in general practice – please join in and share your views if you can. We will also return to these important topics often during 2024.

Here is the fourth of the manifesto points:

#4  Reinstate time for long-term conditions

This manifesto point was championed by Jenny Aston

‘Practices and PCNs need to free up time for GPNs to empower patients to manage their long-term conditions, including diabetes, asthma and COPD.’

Nurses are ‘very innovative, and there are many different approaches to supporting patients in managing their long-term conditions’, says Jenny Aston, advanced nurse practitioner (ANP) at Granta Medical Practices, Cambridgeshire, and a Queen’s Nurse.


Ms Aston has set up group consultation clinics for patients with diabetes, to help them better understand and manage their condition. She says these group clinics show ‘the power of patients in a group being guided by a facilitator and then having their own questions and concerns addressed by a clinical expert’.


‘Patients say the consultations are helpful, that they understand more about their condition, and don’t feel so alone.’


She also believes GPNs are well placed to offer holistic, person-centred guidance to patients about managing long-term conditions. ‘A well-trained, experienced GPN will have a rounded approach to helping patients with asthma, for example.


‘And if GPNs can manage long-term conditions well there will also be fewer patients in A&E because their condition has not got out of control,’ she notes.


But Ms Aston says time pressures can make it challenging to deliver this care and support. Practices and PCNs ‘need to acknowledge that you need enough time to deliver patient-centred care to help patients manage long-term conditions’, she says. GPNs ‘need to be involved in planning the appropriate types and length of clinic appointments to benefit patients’.


She adds that nurses require ‘appropriate training and regular updates’ to manage long-term conditions, as well as to ‘understand and deliver individualised, patient-centred care’.



Jenny Aston

Do you have any points for discussion on this topic? Please visit Nursing in Practice on Facebook or X to start the discussion. Please do also get in touch with us at Nursing in Practice if you have relevant projects or ideas for articles to share on this subject. We welcome your thoughts.  

The 10 points of the manifesto


Look out for discussion on the points at and on social media as these points are launched one by one over the next few weeks



The government should ensure general practice nurses have the same pay, terms and conditions as their secondary care colleagues.



The NHS, practices, universities and other stakeholders need to change the narrative, to encourage more nurses to choose general practice.



Practices, PCNs, the NHS and government should do more to promote the health of our less well-off families.



Practices and PCNs need to free up time for GPNs to empower patients to manage their long-term conditions, including diabetes, asthma and COPD.



NHS England, PCNs, and GP practices should ensure GPNs have the time and resources to carry out their crucial role in public health promotion and disease prevention.



GPN employers, PCNs and nursing bodies need to support nurses with their health and care, so they can care for others.



All nurses should be given the time for professional development to progress their careers. NHS England, PCNs and practices should encourage and support the GPN and ANP roles to grow in general practice.



It is important for general practice nurses to consider parity of esteem – valuing the patients’ mental health needs equally to their physical health.



GPNs need to play an important role in overturning the decline in childhood immunisation uptake.



General practice needs to continue to evolve to serve patients better, adopting approved digital platforms and applications to improve patient care and outcomes.


Writer: Kathy Oxtoby

See how our symptom tool can help you make better sense of patient presentations
Click here to search a symptom