70 years of general practice nursing – Tom Buckley
Hi my name is Tom Buckley. I am the clinical education development nurse for West London and I’m also a general practice nurse.
In 1948, general practice nurses were freelance, so they were actually brought in. Since then, the 1960s saw change and the first NHS contracts, GP contracts. And so nurses were seen in treatment rooms, but still only doing basic line care.
Since then the world has developed and is rapidly changing all the time, focusing on long-term condition management. We now have advanced nurse practitioners, which were seeing patients almost like a junior doctor, but not. It’s complementing it, rather than something that’s taking over certain roles.
General practice nurses are seeing people for lots of different things, such as travel clinics, cervical smears, signposting and public health.
Today, treatment is better for patients because they want to be either treated at home or close to home. That came out of the Shape of Care and review 2015, Lord Willis. So that’s us listening to the voices of patients. But also patients get the autonomy to come and see their local practitioner and they can get first-line treatment in their community. here’s lots of places that practice nurses can signpost people to as well.
I think patients really value the time you can spend with them. You can really visualise their treatment as well, especially in things like long term condition management.
Something I like to do with my patients as well is really kind of like create a visual of what’s going on within the body. So sometimes I’ll make it very interactive and I’ll draw pictures for them to actually and see what’s happening and why actually certain
treatments are effective.
Something I’d like to say to a nurse in 1948 is thank you very much. If you weren’t there, I wouldn’t be here right now.
The profession has changed so much. It’s rapidly expanding, following something
that’s now really structuring it. So the GP five-year forward view and the10-point action plan.
So the role that I deliver on is the community education development lead. So I am
responsible for making sure that that is really driven forward.
So as a first destination career I 100% recommend practice nursing.