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Primary care nurses blocked from CCG boards

Nurses employed in primary care will be prevented from taking up statutory lead nurse positions on CCG boards under new regulations laid before parliament this week.

The new regulation will mean any nurse employed by primary care will not be eligible for the mandatory nurse position on boards although former practice nurses in academic posts or similar will be eligible.

The government amended the Health and Social Care Bill last year to ensure nurse representation on CCG boards.

The latest move to exclude primary care nurses is understood to reflect concerns that nurses employed by GPs might not be fully independent.

RCN guidance published earlier this year (February) warned that some practice nurses being appointed to lead nurse roles on CCGs boards may not have sufficient management skills.

The guidance said lead nurses should have senior management experience and a broad understanding of the complexities of care plus experience of working in a variety of settings and of clinical service redesign.

Dr Johnny Marshall, a member of the NHS Commissioning Board´s Future Design committee and a GP in Aylesbury told Practical Commissioning: ‘This means CCGs with practice nurses already on their boards will have to appoint other nurses to statutory nurse positions.

'This will slightly erode the economy of CCGs. It means increased running costs for CCGs who want a balanced skills set on the board.'

A spokesperson for the NHS Commissioning Board said the new regulation was included in secondary legislation laid before parliament this week and will take effect from October 1.