Darzi centre roll out to trigger staffing shortages6th March 2009
GP-led health centres could swallow up large numbers of practice nurses when they are rolled out across the country.
NHS managers have now admitted that this may lead to staffing shortages across the primary care sector and follows warnings from family doctors that practices could struggle to keep hold of their practice nurses.
Some may even been forced to offer substantial pay rises to keep them.
With up to three nurses to every GP in Lord Darzi’s new centres, NHS West Midlands has produced a report on the issues and warned that it would intensify competition for well-trained nurses and might have an impact on staffing at existing surgeries.
The document suggests: "Current expectations are there are sufficient numbers of GPs in the system to meet anticipated need but that recruiting sufficient numbers of appropriately qualified and experienced practice nurses may be more challenging."
Dr Grant Ingrams, secretary of GPC West Midlands, said: "The fact these centres will end up poaching from local practices was obvious from day one. You can’t suddenly get skilled nurses from nowhere."
The GPC fears that the same will happen with other staff.
The country’s first GP-led health centre has already moved quickly to hire two practice nurses from a nearby surgery after offering them a significant pay rise.
The Royal College of Nursing is concerned that recruitment by GP-led health centres is against a backdrop of existing shortages in an ageing workforce and that in a tighter labour market, GP practices will have to reconsider their rewards structure.
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Title: Darzi centre roll out to trigger staffing shortages
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 10513
Date Added: 6th Mar 2009