Sue Nutbrown, chair of the RCN’s Practice Nurse Association, said many practice nurses were resisting the RCN’s push because they felt they would be worse off under AfC.
‘That’s the problem I’ve really come up against in trying to push GPs to implement AfC. It’s the variation. While some practice nurses say “yes please” others don’t like it at all.’
Ms Nutbrown said she now had little faith in GPs giving widespread pay rises because the next financial year was unlikely to produce such bumper practice profits as 2006/7.
Meanwhile chair of the BMA’s GP committee Dr Hamish Meldrum said the DoH proposed to increase the global sum by less than inflation, which gave GPs no incentive to implement AfC.
‘But to be honest there are other factors, besides the money,’ he said. ‘Most GPs have looked at AfC and decided that their staff would actually be worse off under it. However, some GPs have increased things like holiday entitlements for staff so they are not dissimilar to the NHS.
‘In terms of pay many have given staff an increase in line with hospital nurses and QOF bonuses have often meant practice nurses earned more this year. GPs have done that irrespective of the freeze in the global sum so they are essentially funding this themselves,’ he added.
However, Dr Meldrum admitted the BMA had no figures to back his statement and was unlikely to try and obtain any. ‘But I don’t think there are large numbers of nurses leaving general practice,’ he said.
‘That’s not to say there aren’t bad employers of nurses out there, but there are bad employers everywhere.’
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