Could nurse-led practices ease the pressure on GP surgeries?

Patient demand in UK GP surgeries has never been higher, and with the new healthcare bill yet to be introduced, experts are looking at alternative methods to ease the pressure on GP surgeries in high volume areas such as London and Birmingham

Whilst there are a range of ideas and opinions on how surgeries can manage an increasing amount of patients, one that seems to be universally thought of as a priority is the introduction of more nurse-led healthcare practices where patients are subject to an immediate response for less serious cases, allowing GPs to concentrate on treating high-priority medical cases.

As a patient, the idea of avoiding the normal lengthy negotiation with your GP’s receptionist, then waiting up to two weeks before you get an appointment, is particularly attractive, with patients being able to see a nurse immediately on arrival.

One only has to look at the Cuckoo Lane Surgery, a newly opened surgery based in Hanwell, West London that offers a range of healthcare services such as check-ups, blood tests and immunisations, which is run entirely by fully qualified nurses.

People with sometimes fatal symptoms fail to go to their GP in fear of waiting for weeks on end for an appointment – hoping that their symptoms will simply ‘go away’, therefore it is vital that we improve the efficiency of GP surgeries, whilst being careful not to compromise healthcare ethics.

If we are to create more nurse-led surgeries in the UK, we urgently need to overcome the shortfall of skilled nurses that has hit the country in recent years. Perhaps higher pay brackets or more prolific university courses will help address the issue.

About the author
Ash Higgs Managing Director

Ash Higgs is the Managing Director of MCG Healthcare. He has a long-demonstrated history working in recruitment and has now been involved in the medical industry for over 5 years. During this time, he has gained a strong understanding of the issues that both Primary & Secondary Care are facing regarding the recruitment of healthcare professionals.

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