Welsh local health boards could directly employ practice nurses

Practice nurses in Wales could be employed directly by local health boards (LHBs) instead of practices, under Welsh Assembly government plans.

A Community Nursing Strategy for Wales, published last month, also says cash from GPs’ core funding should be used to pay practice nurses’ ongoing training.

The document contains plans to make funding available for practices that take student nurses on placements.

The strategy aims to create a budget for paid, protected time for nurses’ continuing professions development. The money would be removed from GP’s global sum income.

Eileen Munson, chair of the Welsh Practice Nurse Association, said the strategy was good news for nurses with poor working conditions.

‘In Wales we have a lot of single-handed GPs. There is a discrepancy between those who undertake best practice and reward their nurses for their skills, and those who don’t.

‘We still have nurses who don’t even have contracts. Lots of nurses, because of the current climate, are having to self fund and take annual leave to train.

‘That is unacceptable. We want every nurse to have the same right as nurses working in hospitals,’ she added.

If all practice nurses were employed by their LHB, they would fall under Agenda for Change guidelines and have consistent pay, holiday and training, she said. 

But she warned that nurses from good practices would not want to switch to a generic LHB contract, and said GPs would be reluctant to lose control of staff and funding.

The strategy is out for consultation until 19 June.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

  • Read this week’s Independent Nurse dated 6 April for the full version of this story.
  • Should practice nurses in Wales be employed directly by LHBs?

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