NHS England and Improvement – demonstrating the value created by having nurses in GPs
NHS England and Improvement, in the context of the NHS long-term plan, recognised that, as Primary Care becomes increasingly important in supporting people in maintaining health across the UK, nurses in general practice are important. Indeed, representing around a third of professionals within general practice, they are key to its success. Yet it remained an area of practice substantially undocumented with no consistent understanding of their role and value.
What we did:
Sonnet was commissioned to explore and articulate the role of these nurses and how they generate value, all in the context of the NHS Long-Term Plan. In a four-stage mixed methods review, we (i) built our understanding with a Rapid Evidence Review; (ii) held story-telling action research workshops to explore the nuances of what nurses do and their impact; (iii) tested our findings with groups of nurses from three other areas, and in stakeholder interviews; drew out conclusions, testing these with other nurses in interviews, and with a panel of experts.
Our research identified value delivered in four arenas: to patients, practices, communities and the wider NHS. We found eight core value drivers – aspects of the way the nurses work that are distinctive of the role – and identified their wider role as ‘super-connectors’ within the healthcare system. When mapping out patient journeys with and without a General Practice Nurse (GPN), we showed how their interventions result in significant savings for the NHS. The report included diagrams and infographics that brought the findings to life. Further research has now been commissioned to delve further into the role of GPNs and to understand how they can best be enabled in new primary care models.