Delivering sustainable growth in the multi-professional Primary Care workforce is vital to deliver the ambitions set out in the NHS Long-Term Plan. It is widely acknowledged that if general practice is to be able to meet the increasing demand on its services, the necessary workforce resources must be put in place.
Across Surrey Heartlands 49% of Practice Nurses are 55yrs and over and could retire at any point, and due to the pressures of working through the pandemic, may retire earlier than they had planned.
For general practice to be able to recruit sufficient General Practice Nurses (GPNs) new graduate nurses must be encouraged to consider general practice as a viable career option.
Currently, during the pre-registration degree programme only 1% of student nurses have placements in general practice, this means there is no real opportunity for students to positively experience General Practice, and all the evidence points to a lack of knowledge and understanding of the role of the GPN and all that it has to offer.
The introduction and expansion of additional roles within Primary Care also presents a need to grow capacity for student placements for the whole multi-professional workforce as most AHPs do not routinely experience working in Primary Care at a pre-registration level. With more multi-professional roles embedding themselves within services, students need to realise the career opportunities that are available for them within Primary Care once qualified. Ensuring this pipeline of workforce supply will maximise the success and sustainability of these new roles.