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Independents' Day

Few nurses want GP-level responsibility

I refer to your Focus on article 'Are nurses the new GPs?'

There are very few nurses who want the responsibility of a GP. If they were all clamouring to take our roles there would be no need for us to sign multiple authorisations for dispensing standard treatments, no need for medication reviews and so on.

Where nurse-led practices have been tried they have failed. Nurse managers are not equipped to manage doctors. The training of doctors differs from nurses in the emphasis on leadership and setting an example.

Nurse prescribing has increased to fulfil the demands made by Agenda for Change to justify nurses' remuneration. The qualification is used by the majority of nurses to a small specific degree in the management of chronic diseases or minor illness.

The wholly exceptional supernurse represents those few individuals who should have retrained as doctors. These nursing amazons are not representative their profession and end up undermining general practice. Much the same can be said of the few pharmacists seeking to become custodians of chronic disease.

From Dr John Orchard, Alfreston, Derbyshire

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