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Practice nurses ‘deserve parity’ with those in secondary care, says BMA

Practice nurses ‘deserve parity’ with those in secondary care, says BMA

The British Medical Association (BMA) has called for general practice nurses (GPNs) to have ‘parity of terms’ with those working in secondary care.

In a letter to the new health and social care secretary, chair of the BMA General Practitioners Committee of England, Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer, outlined steps to ‘rebuild general practice’ in the country.

Among her calls was the need for a ‘practice-level reimbursement scheme’ which she said could be used to ‘redistribute network resources transparently into core practice funding to enable recruitment and retention of GPs and practice nurses’.

She added: ‘Our amazing practice nurse colleagues deserve parity of terms with their trust-employed colleagues.’

This comes as the Royal College of Nursing is campaigning for practice nursing staff to have their pay and conditions in line with those working in the NHS on Agenda for Change contracts ‘as a minimum’.

In her letter to Wes Streeting, Dr Bramall-Stainer said she had been ‘heartened’ by his election campaign messages around the need to shift funding into primary and community care settings.

But she warned that ‘general practice – the most efficient and productive part of the NHS – is collapsing.’

And she outlined how the BMA and government could work together to deliver ‘safety’ and ‘stability’ in general practice.

The BMA is also urging the government to ‘reduce patient list size ratios’ and warned that lists have grown ‘far beyond safety levels across England’.

This comes as the GP Patient Survey published today found that almost one in five (22%) of GP appointments were with a GPN, with almost 64.8% of appointment being with a GP.

Closing her letter, Dr Bramall-Stainer urged the government to ‘reset general practice as the jewel in the crown of an NHS we can all be rightly proud of’.

‘I can’t wait to get started,’ she wrote.

A recent Nursing in Practice roundtable event, heard from GPNs who discussed the pros and cons of being independently employed and not on Agenda for Change.

While some argued GPN pay should be standardised and included within the GP contract, others said that being employed independently meant they had been able to negotiate their pay to their advantage.

The GPNs – who are those behind our manifesto for general practice nursing – also stressed how employment terms, including sick and maternity pay, were not in line with that typically offered in secondary care.


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