Nurse-led care 'a match for GPs'

Nurses can deliver care to the same standards as GPs in most areas of general practice including preventive work, the management of long-term conditions, and first contact care for people with minor illness, according to a University of Manchester professor.

Professor Bonnie Sibbald, professor of health services research at the University of Manchester, argued in last week's BMJ that primary care should be nurse led.

She argued that substituting nurses for doctors has the potential to improve the efficiency of primary care.

'GPs' role should evolve to become that of a consultant in primary care receiving referrals from nurses,' she said.

But Leicester GP Dr Rhona Knight argued that nurse-led primary care would restrict patient choice and undermine the importance of nurses' unique contribution to primary care.

'The concept of nurse-led primary care, driven by cost-cutting agendas rather than adequate evidence, devalues medical training and the complex expertise of the GP,' she wrote.

GPletters@haymarket.com

BMJ Online

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