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GPs praised for keeping outpatient referrals down

Specialist nurses want to expand their roles and take on greater prescribing powers, a survey by the Royal College of Nursing has found.

Nearly a third of 480 specialist nurses surveyed wanted more specific clinical duties such as nurse-led clinics. A quarter wanted more prescribing powers. A third of respondents, of which one in 10 worked in primary care, wanted to ditch clerical work.

GPs said many nurses did not have the experience to take on more complex work.

Dr Dermot Ryan a GP in Loughborough, Leicestershire, who has a specialist nurse in his practice, said some nurses were 'exceptional'.

But he added: 'Often these are people with ordinary nursing skills who have tried to bolt on new skills at short notice and are just not up to it.'

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