Journal of Community Nursing - page 12

12 JCN
2013,Vol 27, No 4
The importance of high-quality community
nursing should not be underestimated and those
who want to take the easy option to make financial
savings should be challenged.We are moving away
from the qualified specialist practitioner (district
nurse) to the community staff nurse. District nurse
training provides an excellent preparation for providing care in the
community and contributes to high-quality nursing with measurable
outcomes. It is essential that this is maintained by the community
staff nurse and that local variances in care needs are controlled and
outcomes maintained.
Outcomes are increasingly viewed as a way of measuring
the quality of care and providers and commissioners need to
demonstrate these in areas such as wound care, continence care,
palliative care, chronic disease, and the prevention of avoidable
hospital admissions.
The challenge lies in maintaining the competence of community
nurses while improving capacity. It is increasingly important that
every visit is made by an appropriately skilled community nurse
and we need evidence and research to influence the delivery of
care. The future of community nursing and the importance of care
delivery cannot be left to chance — to do this could mean the end of
district and community nursing as we know it.
Jackie Stephen-Haynes
Professor and Consultant Nurse in TissueViability, Birmingham City
University and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
Media watch
‘Drop in district nurse numbers adds to NHS pressure’ — the BBC reports
that 40% drop in district nurses will harm NHS care provision.
‘Worryingly low numbers of district nurses being trained’ —
says low throughput of qualified community nurses will threaten
future services.
‘Call to raise profile of district nurses following sharp decline in numbers’
Nursing Standard
argues that district nurses have lost status due to cuts
and poor recruitment.
District nursing ‘in crisis’ — the
runs on how community nursing
is ‘failing’ patients after a drop of more than 40% in staff numbers over
10 years.
Read more here...
Department of Health (2013)
Care in Local Communities: A NewVision and
Model for District Nursing
. DH, London
Queen’s Nursing Institute (2013)
Report on District Nurse Education in England,
Wales, and Northern Ireland 2012/13
. QNI, London
Royal College of Nursing (2013)
District Nursing: Harnessing the Potential: The
RCN’s Position on District Nursing
. RCN, London
I am always
that do not
address the
need for sufficient staffing levels.
The real purpose of community
nursing practice has to be
understood by those making the
decisions about our profession.
Continued professional
development incorporating
education in business studies
might be beneficial. If we
were adept at submitting
business proposals, the data
could strengthen our case.
Literature supports community
nursing having a key role in
improving health outcomes and
minimising costly acute care.
Kate Arkley
Community RGN, Galway, Ireland
both on the
frontline and
in the
of strategic changes occurring
within community nursing,
the vision for integrated
working is both exciting and
challenging though vital if
the changing needs of our
communities are to be met.
Annette Bades
District Nursing Specialist
Practitioner and Clinical Lead
Cardiorespiratory, Lancashire Care
NHS Foundation Trust
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