New RCGP group for nurses and managers

The RCGP is to launch a General Practice Foundation at this week's conference, aimed at supporting the practice managers, nurses and physician assistants who work alongside GPs.

The aims of the foundation will include encouraging enhanced team-working.
The aims of the foundation will include encouraging enhanced team-working.

The foundation will provide educational and peer support to members of practice teams, with an annual subscription of £59 for individuals.

RCGP honorary secretary Dr Maureen Baker said the foundation would be a part of the college but a separate legal entity, and members would not become members of the college. They will have no corporate rights such as being able to vote in college elections or participate in general meetings.

Dr Baker said: ‘It's an opportunity for these other professionals to have a formal association with the college, and members will be joining mainly for educational and networking opportunities.

‘We are not their professional organisation and have been very fortunate that the RCN and Institute of Healthcare Management have been very supportive. It's an opportunity for team-based education and development and support.'

The educational materials will either be adapted from existing ones, for example the child protection toolkit, or new modules developed according to gaps identified.

Dr Baker added: ‘We are very excited about it and practice managers and nurses are really enthusiastic. Although they have their own professional organisations, it's still not that easy to find materials and networking opportunities specifically for them in a general practice context.'

The foundation will have an executive board chaired by the honorary secretary of the RCGP and a separate forum for each of the three disciplines.

The overall aims of the foundation will include supporting professional development, collaboration on policy initiatives,  championing the key features of UK general practice, and encouraging enhanced team-working.

RCGP chairman Professor Steve Field said GPs could work more closely with other primary care professionals to

increase the length of their own consultations in line with their increasingly complex caseload.

‘GPs should not be concerned about working with other professional groups or letting them take on the work that we used to do in the past,' he said.

‘At the same time, GPs have a role in leading the team and should not be shy about that.'

Find more about the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) on Healthcare Republic

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