General Practice Nurses (GPNs) have been a critical element of primary healthcare teams ever since they first stepped foot in to General Practice. They have been instrumental in shaping the provision of services and improving people’s health during the whole of that time. They have an inherent set of skills that lend themselves to a person-centred holistic approach aimed at improving people’s health & well-being around what matters to them.
The contractual nature of General Practice has more often than not supported a biomedical model with success determined by factors such as access to a GP or biomedical values rather than truly assessing the impact on the health & wellbeing of communities and a reduction in health inequalities.
As the NHS seeks to determine how to fulfil the promise within the NHS England Long Term Plan of greater population health through improved health & wellbeing and reduced health inequality attention should rightly be turning to how we are going to achieve this.
Primary Care Networks (PCNs) represent an excellent opportunity to implement the principles that underpinned the success of NAPC’s Primary Care Home programme around improved population health and yet they are often struggling to develop a shared purpose and identity which would unleash the full potential within their primary healthcare teams.
Greater inclusivity within primary healthcare teams in both shaping and delivering the support and care required is a critical success factor in achieving this. Enabling all team members to play their role in making change happen around this common purpose becomes a key purpose within any PCN.
The evidence from NAPC’s Primary Care Home programme demonstrates that the biggest gains in population health occur when General Practice Nurses are at the forefront of shaping and delivering new care and support models. In addition, this results in a significant reduction in the demands on GP appointments and represents one of our very best hopes in meeting the everyday challenges we face with year on year rises in demand for primary healthcare services
With all of this in mind NAPC is a very proud partner in the CARE programme. We have witnessed the huge benefits that supporting and developing GPNs within PCNs can deliver for populations and professionals alike. It is a privilege to see some many individuals choose to lead change from their professional experience and in doing so influence others to do the same.
Through our continuing leadership alongside partners within the CARE programme NAPC is committed to spreading this benefit as widely as we can; deepening the benefits of it in improving the health & well-being within our communities, reducing health inequality and making this a sustainable way of continuous improvement across PCNs and beyond.