Context: Evidence shows that health outcomes, workplace satisfaction and productivity are optimised when healthcare teams collaborate. Despite the significant changes to the general practice team brought about by the increasing nurse workforce in this setting, there has been limited attention on collaboration between general practitioners and nurses. This presentation focuses on one theme that emerged from a study of collaboration between general practitioners and nurses working in general practice.
Aim: To explore the impact of funding models/initiatives on collaboration between GPs and registered nurses in general practice.
Methods: Naturalistic inquiry was used to elicit narrative accounts from eight general practitioners (GPs) and fourteen registered nurses (GPRNs). Participants were recruited from two Primary Health Networks in New South Wales. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was used to identify patterns and report themes.
Findings: Participants shared a goal to provide best possible client outcomes. However, fiscal pressure influenced the way GPs and GPRNs prioritised care to achieve such outcomes. Limitations in existing government funding models and initiatives exposed complexities around managing colleague/employer relationships in the private healthcare setting. Failure to address these issues threatened productivity through increased conflict and the attrition of nurses from general practice.
Innovative contribution to policy, practice and/or research: This study provides evidence to suggest that funding and initiatives in general practice do not encourage or reward GPs and GPRNs to collaborate. It highlights the need for policy makers to consider the impact that funding models have on the clinicians who work within them.