General Practitioners and Nurses Collaborating in General Practice
Anne Lockwood and Fiona Maguire
Australian Journal of Primary Health
6(2) 19 - 29
In 1998 the Fremantle Regional Division of General Practice (FRDGP), Silver Chain and the Health Department of Western Australia (HDWA) initiated an eleven-month trial which aimed to increase clinical integration by establishing professional partnerships between GPs and nurses. The project placed nurse in four general practices where they consulted with patients and undertook other activities that helped clarify nurse and GP roles within these partnerships. In addition to exploring some of the processes underlying development of partnerships, the project reported direct benefits for all stakeholders. For patients these included improved access and better quality of care. At an organisational level Silver Chain and general practices reported increased service provision and efficiency, additional promotion and marketing opportunities, improved networks with other providers, and opportunities for new business developments in service provision. From the professional practitioner perspective, doctors and nurses reported improved knowledge about the other profession and that the trial was an opportunity to explore role developments in the general practice context. Implications for expansion and development of a nursing role in general practice were discussed. The results suggest that further development of effective nurse/GP partnerships requires collaborative planning, close monitoring, and ongoing support for the processes of improved teamwork.
Full text doi:10.1071/PY00015
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