Acute in-hours care and home visits 'can be done by nurse practitioners'

Nurse practitioners can successfully manage acute in-hours care and home visits, a South London pilot study suggests.

Photograph: iStockphoto/Patricia Hofmeester
Photograph: iStockphoto/Patricia Hofmeester

GP Dr Martin Edwards and his colleagues set out to explore the feasibility and outcomes of nurse practitioner management of same-day care requests.

On two days a week for six months, a nurse practitioner assessed and managed all same-day care requests. Care was compared with GP management. The researchers analysed 311 contacts with a GP and 257 with a nurse practitioner.

The nurse practitioner sought GP advice in 8.6 per cent of cases and asked a GP to see a patient in 0.8 per cent of cases.

The nurse practitioner was more likely than the GP to assess patients in person and to issue a prescription.

Patient questionnaires showed no significant difference in patient reactions to GP and nurse practitioner care.

  • British Journal of General Practice 2009:59:7-11.
  • See the next edition of Independent Nurse dated 19 January for the full story.

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