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Practice and district nurse roles should be merged, says RCGP

GP leaders are pushing the Government in Wales to merge practice nurse and district nurse roles to create generic ‘primary care nurse’ posts closely linked to surgeries.

RCGP Wales outgoing chair Dr Paul Myres argued that patients currently get ‘fragmented’ care which lacks continuity because they have to see both district and practice nurses.

Dr Myres met chief nursing officer for Wales Dr Jean White last week as part of a group lobbying for the establishment of a task and finish group to examine the idea of generic nursing roles.

The Royal College of Nursing and other practices nurses were also part of the group.

Dr White did not wish to comment on her future plans, but said she was ‘considering’ the group’s proposal.

Dr Myres said: ‘Patients value continuity but they don’t always get it if they district nurses for one thing and practice nurses for another. If you create a generic role then this nurse could see patients in a practice or could visit them in their homes.

‘There’s a lot of commonality anyway between the practice nurse and district nurse roles now because district nurses often take on chronic disease management.’

Dr Myres finishes as chair of RCGP Wales this week after four years and will be replaced by Dr Rebecca Payne.

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