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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Respect for your nurses

From Ghislaine Young

Nurse practitioner and salaried partner, Bradford

Dr Dermot Ryan somehow manages to turn patient satisfaction with nurse practitioner consultations into a failure (News, 3 December), the twisted logic being that we give false reassurance and often order unnecessary investigations.

In point of fact nurse practitioners in Bradford have recently audited their requests for X-ray investigation and the local radiology department has been amazed how few patients were referred.

Is there any evidence at all to suggest nurses give false reassurance to patients or is this just prejudice on the part of Dr Ryan?

When can we put aside inter-professional rivalry and start to work together with mutual respect and understanding?

·From Katrina Le Saux

Student nurse practitioner, Cranbrook, Kent

How interesting to read the spin applied to the story 'Chatty nurses take twice as long as GPs over consultations' (News, 3 December).

A thorough perusal of the research in the British Journal of General Practice reflects well on direct comparison between nurse consultations and those of their GP colleagues.

The study demonstrates that clinical outcomes were similar but greater patient satisfaction levels were to be found with the nurse encounters.

What causes me concern is the growing antagonistic environment that appears to exist among the medical profession who appear to be unable to resist taking a swipe at the nursing fraternity no matter what the context.

Shouldn't the multi-faceted approach of health care be celebrated rather than continually damned?

Time is, as always, of the essence and this will need further exploration in order to ensure that the luxury of longer consultations can be financially supported.

We may have the time ­ but have you got the inclination?

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