Nurses urged to gatecrash PBC

Nurses should attend practice-based commissioning (PBC) meetings in their area whether or not they have not been invited, according to the NHS Alliance.

Yvonne Sawbridge, a nurse and co-vice-chair of the NHS Alliance, which is championing PBC, told a Queen's Nursing Institute conference in London this month that nurses need to understand how PBC can make their working lives easier.

'It may not be fair that you haven't been asked to take part in PBC, but life isn't fair. You have to get yourselves to those meetings and make sure you have something useful to say,' she said.

Ms Sawbridge said that the worst that could happen would be that nurses were thrown out of meetings, 'but generally everyone is pretty polite these days and the chances are you'll be allowed to stay.

'If it goes over your head don't worry, just keep going, keep listening, keep asking for information and eventually you'll work it out.'

She said GPs often 'do not know what they don't know' and may be unaware of the things nurses knew could be done more cheaply or efficiently. 'We, in turn, must think about quantifying everything into quality and cost effectiveness,' she added.

Ms Sawbridge said that nurses should also find out who is on the local PEC, consider shadowing commissioners for a day and start asking for PBC information on referrals and indicative budgets.

'You won't get the information the first time you ask, but be persistent.

Then start looking at small things that can make a difference, like IV therapies and discharges,' she said.

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