Anne Moger discusses how the Five Year Forward View and the subsequent General Practice Forward View have influenced the way general practice nurses and general practitioners will work together in primary care in the future. Nurses will take on a greater role in the management of patients in primary care; consequently, it is essential that they keep up to date with clinical guidelines that will help them to identify and deal with health inequalities.

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Read this article to learn more about:

  • how the Five Year Forward View, and subsequent General Practice Forward View, will influence general practice
  • the increasing role of nurses in patient management
  • the need for nurses to keep up to date with clinical guidance.

In 2020 general practice will not look the same as it does now. There will be development and expansion of the workforce, and better premises with increased use of new technologies. There will be improved signposting for individual patients to indicate the most appropriate service for them or supporting them to self care where appropriate.

General practice nurses (GPNs) and general practitioners will be working as part of a more joined-up primary care workforce that will be able to optimise the time devoted to quality and health improvement for patients and local communities.

Moving towards a responsive NHS

GPs and practice teams provide vital services for patients—they are at the heart of our communities, the foundation of the NHS, and internationally renowned. However, these services are now under unprecedented pressure and, as set out in the Five Year Forward View (FYFV),1 it has become clear that action is needed so we have a responsive NHS, fit for the future.

In October 2014, the FYFV was published with the purpose of articulating why change is needed, what that change might look like, and how we can achieve it.1 It describes various models of care that could be provided in the future, and defines the actions required at a local and national level to support delivery. It covers areas such as disease prevention; new, flexible models of service delivery tailored to local populations and needs; integration between services; and consistent leadership across the health and care system.1

To achieve this, nurses need to be able to provide leadership in order to address unwarranted variation and to drive change—this is one of the key messages of Leading Change, Adding Value, the national framework for all nursing, midwifery, and care staff in England.2 The framework focusses on how nursing, midwifery, and care staff can add value to individuals, populations, and the professions, by narrowing the gaps in ' care and quality', ' funding and efficiency', and ' health and wellbeing' identified within the FYFV.2

The FYFV starts the move towards a different NHS, recognising the challenges and outlining potential solutions to the big questions facing health and care services in England. It defines the framework for further detailed planning regarding how the NHS needs to evolve over the next 5 years. Everyone will need to play their part—system leaders, NHS staff, patients, and the public—to realise the potential benefits for us all.

Backed by a multi-billion pound investment, the General Practice Forward View (GPFV), published in April 2016, sets out a plan to stabilise and transform general practice in response to the FYFV.3 The investment in GPNs clearly articulated by the GPFV is further supported by the Primary Care Workforce 2020 programme, which will look at what needs to be done in order to recruit, retain, and return nurses to general practice in order to increase capacity and capability in primary care.4

The increasing role of GPNs

The increasing workloads and financial pressures in general practice—due to an ageing population and the NHS reforms that look to shift more care from secondary to primary care—mean that nurses are taking on a greater role in the management of patients and implementation of guidance within primary care. This, coupled with the requirements of revalidation and providing best practice, make it essential that nurses keep up to date with clinical guidelines that will help them to identify and deal with health inequalities.

References

  1. NHS England. Five Year Forward View. NHS England, 2014. Available at: www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/5yfv-web.pdf
  2. NHS England. Leading change, adding value. NHS England, 2016. Available at: www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nursing-framework.pdf
  3. NHS England. General Practice Forward View. NHS England, 2016. Available at: www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/gpfv.pdf
  4. NHS England. General Practice Forward View: workforce plans. www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/primary-care-comm/gp-workforce/ (accessed 12 September 2016).