Evidence-Based Practice Group for
General Practice Nursing

The aims of this group are to use critically appraised topics (CATs) as a way of minimising unwarranted clinical variation, updating guidance to ensure that current practice is based on the most up to date evidence. The outcome is that evidence-based research translates into evidence-based practice (EBP). This is achieved through a partnership with primary care clinical academics at Keele University. Combining the clinical expertise of General Practitioners (GPs) and General Practice Nurses (GPNs) with clinical academics provides a cross-fertilisation of skills and knowledge. The GPNs are supported to improve their literature searching, evidence interpretation, appraisal skills and the translation of evidence into clinical practice which aligns to the Five Year Ambitions on Quality as set out in the Five Year Forward View (2014).

The group set five main objectives:

1. To develop and maintain a GPN EBP group utilising CATs to address clinical uncertainty in primary care general practice nursing.

2. To develop and maintain a community of practice for GPNs. Bringing together and empowering a highly skilled yet undervalued and isolated body of nurses to take best available evidence into practice.

3. To identifying variation and uncertainty in clinical practice and areas of care and treatment that might be considered sub-optimal.

4. To Improve understanding of EBP. Developing the knowledge-base of the GPNs (searching for evidence, critical appraisal, implementation of best practice)

5. To develop group aims that are strongly endorsed by the NMC Code (2015) and its aim for nurses to ‘Practise effectively’ as well as closing the care and quality gap highlighted in NHS England’s Leading Change and Adding Value (2016) by ‘Practising in ways which provide safe evidence-based care which maximises choice for patients’.


We are part of a group of clinicians and academics from Keele and North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups which look at answering clinical questions. These are called Critically Appraised Topics (CATs). They are then made available to staff and researchers and help to inform clinical practice and the formulation of new research questions. 

Full list of CATs (Nurses)  (PDFs)

12) In patients taking anti-hypertensive medication does taking the medication (at night) before bedtime as opposed to usual regime, reduce the risk of MI, stroke, postural hypotension and side-effects whilst maximising the therapeutic benefit?

11) In patients that are vitamin B12 deficient is oral vitamin B12 supplementation as effective as intramuscular B12 injection?

10) For the management of Gout in UK Primary Care: is nurse-led management more effective than GP-led management? 

9) In patients undergoing minor dermatological procedures, does the application of Savlon antiseptic cream post-operatively, as opposed to leaving the wound dry, increase the incidence of poor wound healing/delayed wound healing or infection (or poor outcomes in general)? 

8) Is there evidence to support the clinical effectiveness of Bio-oil for post-surgical wounds, scars or stretch marks etc?

7) Do group consultations or shared medical appointments improve outcomes for patients with long-term conditions? 

6) Is there evidence to show that participation in walking groups can benefit health outcomes? 

5) Are side effects reduced if practice nurses administer the intramuscular (IM) contraceptive injection via the ventrogluteal site compared to the dorsogluteal site? 

4) Is an aseptic technique (using sterile dressing packs (SDPs)) superior to a clean technique when performing wound care procedures in primary care? 

3) In adult males with prostate cancer, which is the most clinically and cost-effective drug; Prostap (Leuproelin) or Zoladex (Goserelin)? 

2) In children under 7 years of age does the administration of Dexamethasone result in better outcomes for Croup than the administration of Prednisolone?

1) In patients requiring wound cleansing or wound irrigation in general practice settings is sterile saline superior to tap water in reducing or preventing would infection and promoting healing?

Non CAT Questions

Occasionally as a group, we identify questions that do not lend themselves to the CAT process, i.e. questions that may not have any research evidence to provide an answer but where there may be valuable expert opinion articles or discussion papers. 


For more information about setting up a new group, or how to get involved, please contact Dr Andrew Finney; 

Email: a.finney@keele.ac.uk 
Telephone: +44 (0) 1782 733974 
Location: Room 0.51, School of Primary, Community and Social Care

If you would like to submit a question or topic for a question, you can email primarycare.gpnebp@keeel.ac.uk

Useful Links:

Dr Majid Artus talks through research methods as a 'refresher' in his two-part tutorial; 

Part One: Majid discusses the types of clinical studies, study bias and study quality


Part Two: Majid focusses on treatment effect, statistical significant, meta-analysis and forest plot