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Demand for Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) within the NHS increased by 64% between quarter one and quarter two 2015 in response to NHS restructuring coupled with GP shortages. That is according to market analysis from specialist healthcare recruiter MSI Group.

Government initiatives to drive NHS efficiency levels, coupled with an acute shortage of GPs, mean that Nurse Practitioners are now taking a significantly greater role in the delivery of patient care not only within GP surgeries, but also Accident and Emergency departments (A&E), Minor Injury Units (MIUs), and other Out of Hour’s (OOH) services.

Structural changes to the NHS designed to cut hospital admissions and assist discharge into the community – as outlined in the Government’s Five Year Forward View – mean that responsibilities which were once the preserve of doctors such as diagnosis, prescribing drugs and referring patients are now increasingly being shared with nursing teams.

Commenting on the rise in vacancies, Nick Simpson, CEO of MSI Group said:

“Although the use of Nurse Practitioners has been steadily rising over the past decade, it is only in recent months that we have experienced a real boom in demand.

“The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has estimated a fourfold increase in unfilled GP posts since 2010, and Government proposals to create a ‘truly seven day NHS’ will only exacerbate current shortages.

“Trusts are responding by bringing on board ANPs to manage existing workload, while simultaneously taking precautions against unnecessary hospital admissions further along the line.

“ANPs have just one years’ less training than a doctor, and are able to diagnose, treat, prescribe drugs, and discharge patients as well as suture, interpret x-rays, and write care plans. With this in mind, Trusts are taking advantage of the cost savings that the use of ANPs can offer, which typically represent a 30% saving when compared to the use of GPs.”

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