The Scottish government has announced £2.5m for ‘up-skilling’ general practice staff, including new training for practice nurses.
Health secretary Shona Robinson said practice nurses will be able to access new training on managing patients with multiple health conditions as part of the £71.6m committed to general practice funding in 2017/18.
Robison has committed to investing an extra £250m in general practice per year by 2021.
‘Reinvigorating general practice’
A key part of the current contract negotiations centres on reducing GP workload and increasing capacity through making greater use of nurses, physiotherapists and other health professionals into primary care.
‘We want to reinvigorate general practice and attract more people into the profession. We also want to shift the balance of care into the community, and general practice clearly has a significant role to play,’ Robison said.
‘By investing in the training of practice staff we can make the whole system more efficient, freeing up time for doctors to spend on their consultations.
‘We can also increase the skills of those practice staff and improve their job satisfaction.’
‘Essential to the future’
Dr Alan McDevitt, Scotland GPC chair said it was a welcome investment.
‘Practice managers, practice nurses, receptionists and health care assistants are all essential to the future of general practice.’
RCGP Scotland chair Dr Miles Mack said the RCGP would be keen to be involved in training for practice nurses to continue to ‘extend their role for patients with chronic conditions’.