Nurse consultations in primary care double

The proportion of practice consultations conducted by nurses has more than doubled in the last decade, according to NHS Information Centre figures.

They show that the proportion increased from 21% in 1995/96 to 34% in 2008/9.

The NHS Information Centre report says: ‘Whilst there is an increase in the proportion of consultations undertaken by nurses, this could easily reflect an increase in recording on computer by nurses as well as a true increase in the total numbers of patients seen by a nurse each year.'

There has also been a change in where consultations take place. In 1995/96 9% were home visits and 3% were via telephone. In 2008/9 the figures were 3% home visits and 12% telephone. The proportion in the surgery fell from 87 to 82%.

The average patient had 3.9 consultations each year in 1995/96 rising to 5.5 in 2008/9.

The total number of consultations in England rose from 224.5 million in 1995/96 to 303.9 million in 2008/9.

The estimated number of consultations for a typical practice in England rose from 21,300 in 1995/96 to 34,600 in 2008/9.



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