The forgotten front line
The latest issue of Nursing in Practice focuses on the work practice and community nurses are doing in the pandemic – and how they feel their efforts are being forgotten.
Practice and community nurses told Nursing in Practice they feel overshadowed by GPs and ICU nurses in the eyes of the Government, employers and the media.
We look at the important work practice nurses are doing organising and administer Covid jabs, and the extra case loads community nurses have taken on with early discharges from hospital.
‘Practice nurses are in a room on their own doing their job day in day out without hearing much from the rest of the healthcare service or having much visibility. There’s no thanks, there’s no recognition,’ Robana Hussain-Mills, a practice nurse and deputy clinical director at Nottingham City East primary care network (PCN), explained to Nursing in Practice.
Ben Bowers, a Queen’s Nurse and PhD student at the University of Cambridge researching palliative and end-of-life care, said community services were ‘going out of their way’ to provide additional care at the moment. However, they are seen as a ‘Cinderella service, with brilliantly skilled nurses who are not really recognised’.
Nurses said that they mainly wanted recognition to give them a voice in decision-making, such as in the unprecedented Covid vaccine programme, because they felt they have skills and expert knowledge it would be helpful to share. Nurses are usually the ones in general practice who do the bulk of organising and administering vaccines.
Dame Donna Kinnair, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, wrote an opinion piece to accompany the piece on the website, saying general practice nurses were the ‘bedrock of the health and care system’.