The White Paper on healthcare regulation, Trust, Assurance and Safety - The Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century, stipulates that nurses will undergo employer-led revalidation based on appraisals and the Knowledge and Skills Framework.
However, whether GPs or PCTs should revalidate practice nurses ‘will be discussed with the relevant professions and regulators'.
Sarah Thewlis, chief executive of the NMC, said it was important to note that in this context GPs were employers rather than healthcare professionals and as such were responsible for quality assuring the care delivered in their organisation.
However, Jane Naish, RCN policy adviser, said revalidation should be about peer assessment as well as employer appraisal. Lisa Eve, a practice nurse working in two practices in south London, said she was not sure she trusted all GPs to know what nurses should or should not be doing.
'I've visited some very poor-performing practices and I'd be worried about nurses working in those practices being revalidated by those GPs,' she said. 'Personally, I wouldn't mind if there was a team of people and a GP was a member.'
Kate Howie, a member of the RCN's Practice Nurse Association, said she felt the NMC should revalidate nurses. 'As a nurse I want to be revalidated by my regulatory body, not by another professional group. Having a GP do it would really reinforce the stereotypes around the doctor-nurse relationship,' she said.
Revalidation for nurses will be phased in over the next five years, with appraisals becoming summative as well as developmental. Those working at more advanced levels, such as nurse practitioners, will have additional requirements for revalidation, which are yet to be decided.
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