Advance Practice – We are not doctor’s hand maidens

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2005 Health Care Service Group Conference
31 December 2004

Healthcare is changing and the Nursing Sector welcomes the opportunity to have a debate around individual roles and responsibilities. We have particularly welcomed the opportunity to respond to the Nursing & Midwifery Council consultation on advance practise. However in recent weeks there has been speculation that nurses and other professionals should not undertake surgical procedures. Nurses and other professionals, including physiotherapists and operating department practitioners are highly trained and dedicated individuals. Already their roles have developed and responsibilities increased Agenda for Change will for the first time recognise these skills financially.

However to ensure public protection is at the heart of our practise the National Nursing Sector is recommending that there be national discussions surrounding this development, we wish to avoid a variety of different roles being introduced in different areas. We are concerned that this may lead to inconsistency in training, skills, development, pay and therefore public protection. We would wish to seek a national training programme be developed with core module and a consistent assessment framework developed.

In addition it is vital that individuals are not forced to take on additional roles, staff are already acting in advanced roles. We want to ensure that they are recognised and valued for this contribution.

We call on conference to

1.Write to ministers so that a discussion can be facilitated on this matter;

2.Write to both the NMC and HCP urging for consistency in training and entry requirements in the development of these new roles.