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CCG nurses need to 'galvinise' practice nurses

The biggest challenge for a nurse on a CCG is connecting with the practice nurse population, it is claimed.

Speaking at last week's Nursing in Practice conference in Manchester, Hilary Garratt, Director of Nursing at NHS Manchester PCT Cluster, said a lack of access and resources will impede a CCG nurse's ability to energise practice nurses and get them “hooked” on the reforms.

According to Garratt, the role of a nurse on a CCG will be to “demystify” and “strip back” the commissioning process for the nursing workforce.

However, in order to build a community of nurses around the CCG, Garratt said there is a need for the other parts of nursing workforce to truly value and recognise what practice nurses do.

“What practice nurses do has a direct correlation to mortality,” she said.

“In a good practice where admissions are kept low and practice nurses are in control of their patients' blood pressure and medications as well as taking the lead on educating self-care, its impact is huge.

“I don't think the rest of the nursing profession or other parts of the NHS recognise that.

“But because of their position, practice nurses are of a real value to CCGs.”

A recent Nursing in Practice survey showed only 2.5% of primary and community nurses are involved with a CCG.

Of those nurses not involved with their local CCG, almost half (44.3%) were unable to give a reason for their lack of input.

Worryingly, almost one in ten (9.8%) said they were not involved with their local CCG for fear they will not be heard to able to make a difference.

Margaret Williams, Assistant Director of Nursing at NHS North West, said practice nurses need to feel valued for the positive impact they make, not only to their patients but to the entire community every day.

“We need to revisit what practice nurses do for both NHS leaders and the wider NHS workforce to give them the recognition and appreciation they deserve,” she said.

Question: Are you optimistic CCG nurses will be able to galvinise the practice nursing population?