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Primary care nurse practitioners and the interface with secondary care: a qualitative study of referral practice

Price, Anne and Williams, Anne Melita 2003. Primary care nurse practitioners and the interface with secondary care: a qualitative study of referral practice. Journal of Interprofessional Care 17 (3) , pp. 239-250. 10.1080/1356182031000122861

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Abstract

In the United Kingdom nurse practitioners are assuming responsibilities traditionally considered to be within the domain of general practitioners. Important amongst these is the referral of patients to medical consultants in secondary care, a responsibility commonly associated with the general practitioner's role as 'gatekeeper' to health care. This paper describes a study designed to identify issues raised by the challenge that a developing nursing role presents to interprofessional working at the interface between primary and secondary care. When invited to comment, study participants (nurse practitioners, nurse educators, medical consultants and general practice registrars) related nursing referrals to issues associated with professional boundary changes, namely: teamwork, regulation of practice, communication, professional conflict and professional relationships. This paper discusses the views of primary and secondary care practitioners about who should take responsibility for the referral of patients in the light of concerns raised about professional competence and accountability. Individual nurse practitioners and their colleagues have found pragmatic ways to manage their work however, although UK government policy supports development of advanced clinical nursing, there remains much work to be done to provide the professional and legal infrastructure to support the role.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nurse Practitioner; General Practitioner; Referral; Primary/secondary Care Interface; Professional Roles; Regulation Of Practice
ISSN: 1356-1820
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:02
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/779

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