Nurses 'need standardised education' to shift services to community

Specialist nurses will need regulation and standardised education if the government's plans to shift care closer to home are to be realised, according to a report of specialty sub-groups.

The sub-groups, made up of clinical experts, were set up by the government to investigate the feasibility of shifting orthopaedics, urology, dermatology, ENT, general surgery and gynaecology out of hospitals as outlined in the White Paper, ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’.

All the groups identified the current plethora of specialist nursing titles, qualifications and variable Agenda for Change bandings for similar roles as a barrier to the successful transfer of services out of hospitals.

The recommendations have clear implications for Modernising Nursing Careers, which is currently investigating the future of specialist nursing.

The gynaecology sub-group also said it expected specialist nurses to be registered on the NMC’s sub-part of the nursing register for advanced practice, which is currently still awaiting government approval.

Meanwhile the dermatology sub-group called for wider dermatology training for all nurses, arguing that primary care nurses lacked confidence in the area despite often prescribing.

The specialty sub-group reports also identified workforce planning as an issue. Current services often depended on the enthusiasm and experience of individual nurses, they said. In the future, commissioners would need to ensure enough nurses were trained to a high level to ensure sustainability of services.

All the groups have made clear that protected time for doctor and nurse training and CPD should be part of any service level agreement.

The report has also called for Payment by Results to be altered to ensure hospital consultants can lead the shift of care into the community without foundation trusts regarding it as a threat to income.

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Patient satisfaction screen

How a GP practice worked with patients to stop a torrent of complaints

A GP practice has seen complaints drop from 50-plus a day to just four in 10 months...

British Army soldiers marching

How the NHS Op COURAGE service can help support veterans

Armed forces veterans often have unique health needs. Clinical staff from London...

GP consultation

Continuity of care would save millions of GP appointments each year, new study finds

GP workload would be significantly reduced if continuity of care was prioritised...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Visa sponsor shortage threatens GP workforce, locum GPs struggle to find work, record appointments

The GPonline team discusses the key news stories affecting general practice in our...

RCGP sign

RCGP condemns threat to retention funding as third of GPs consider quitting

Funding for GP retention risks being stripped away to cover other financial pressures...

Professor Dame Helen Stokes Lampard

Former RCGP chair joins NHS England board

Former RCGP chair Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard has joined the NHS England...