Nurse practitioners: the role in A&E and primary care
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Nurse practitioners: the role in A&E and primary care

Brian Dolan Research Fellow, King’s A&E Primary Care Service, London
Jeremy Dale Senior Lecturer/Honorary Consultant in Primary Care
Virginia Morley Senior Lecturer, Department of General Practice, King’s College School of Medicine and Dentistry, London

This article describes a recent evaluation of the work of nurse practitioners across a range of A&E departments and minor treatment centres in west London. Questionnaires, face-to-face interviews and focus groups were used to collect the data. The authors found that across the sites in the study, the provision of nurse practitioner services varied in scope but were well received by staff and patients. Issues surrounding training remained unresolved, but the role appeared to be developing in response to the reduction in junior doctors’ hours and improved and extended opportunities in pre- and post-registration nurse education. The authors recommend that the cost effectiveness of nurse practitioners should be evaluated. The accompanying commentary suggests the nurse practitioner role should be explicitly defined.

Nursing Standard. 11, 17, 33-37. doi: 10.7748/ns1997.01.11.17.33.c2435