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At the heart of general practice since 1960

LMC stokes nurse controversy

An LMC has warned GPs wishing to become mentors for nurse prescribers that patient safety may be at risk because of lack of training.

A recent Pulse survey showed widespread concern among doctors that 30-day courses

for prescribing nurses are in-

adequate to ensure patient

safety.

Now Camden and Islington LMC has advised local GPs wishing to become mentors for nurse prescribers that the amount of training is too short and that there is no funding.

Under the scheme, nurses spend 13 days with a mentor to be trained in diagnosis, clinical examinations and have a working safe knowledge of drugs.

'We are generally supportive of the principles of nurse prescribing but wish to raise awareness among GPs who may be considering becoming a mentor for nurses, of the risk management and workload implications.

'We will raise our concerns with the GPC as we consider this to be a national issue,' the LMC said.

Dr Laurence Buckman, dep-uty chair of the GPC, said: 'I don't believe someone can have knowledge of both the effects and adverse effects of the whole BNF after 30 days.

'I don't have a problem with nurse prescribing – but 30 days is not long enough. If there's no funding it can't be done.'

But some GPs involved in training nurse prescribers said their GP colleagues were ill-informed.

Dr Mandy Fry, Oxford district VTS course organiser, said: 'If properly informed, many doctors who feel current controls are insufficient to protect patients would change their minds.

'Surely it makes more sense for nurses to be fully informed about their prescribing decisions rather than loitering outside surgery doors asking GPs to sign FP10s.'

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