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New general practice nurse network set up

Network aims to promote and strengthen the role of nurses in primary care

Caroline White

Friday, 08 May 2015

The NHS Alliance has set up a new nurse-led General Practice Nurse (GPN) network in a bid to promote and strengthen the role of nurses in primary care.

It will also enable nurses working in primary care to connect with each other, and with wider primary and community colleagues, as well as carers.

The network is the initiative of the co-vice chair of NHS Alliance, Heather Henry, a Queen’s Nurse and former general practice nurse, and Louise Brady, the newly appointed general practice nurse special adviser at NHS Alliance.

Louise is a general practice nurse clinical & strategic development lead for the three NHS Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups.

The intention is to bring general practice nurses together virtually as well as face to face. The members and discussion topics will be decided by network members.

The NHS Alliance wants the network to work alongside other nursing organisations and to feed in opinion and ideas into NHS England, Public Health England, Health Education England, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Care Quality Commission and the Queen’s Nursing Institute.

Heather Henry, co-vice chair of NHS Alliance, said: “From ongoing Twitter discussions and recent meetings we observe an overwhelming yearning for an active GPN network in England to bring us all together.”

She added: “Launching this GPN network is an integral part of NHS Alliance’s ongoing work in supporting the new models of care, as outlined in the Five Year Forward View.

“This network will draw out [nurses’] strengths, skills and talents, rather than be a deficit or problem-focused type of network. It will showcase the very best of practice nursing and bring the importance of what we do to the fore. But, most importantly, we want to build personal relationships and ensure that all general practice nurses have the support they need to enjoy their work.”

Louise Brady, GPN special adviser at NHS Alliance, said: “We know the time for a new general practice network is now. We must work to keep a high profile on practice nursing given the Five Year Forward View, and to influence how the recommendations of the Lord Willis’ report on pre-registration education are taken forward, to discuss how revalidation will affect us – and much more.”

The membership, which will focus on innovation and working across boundaries in a bid to move primary care nursing forward, is open to related disciplines, patients, and carers.

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