Leading GP organisations have teamed up with nursing regulator the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to remind GPs of their responsibility to regularly check the registration status and qualifications of their nurses.
The British Medical Association's GP Committee (GPC) and the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) have partnered with the NMC to form a joint initiative aimed at raising awareness about the important of a nurse's NMC registration.
It is warned those GP practices that do not perform the required checks may find themselves facing contract sanctions, and nurses may be liable for prosecution for claiming to be registered when they are not.
"Practice nurses play an invaluable role in the primary care team, but nurses cannot legally practise in the UK unless they are registered with the NMC," said Dr Clare Gerada, Chair of the RCGP.
"Practices must ensure that anyone appointed to a nursing post holds the necessary qualifications and effective registration with the NMC before starting employment – and the NMC enables practices to do this quickly and effectively."
BMA GPC Chair Dr Laurence Buckman has recommended the NMC's 'free employer confirmation service' as a "valuable resource" to check a nurse's current registration status and details of any conditions of practices as a result of fitness to practise proceedings.