2013,Vol 27, No 4
am pleased to contribute to the
Journal of Community Nursing,
as it offers me the opportunity
to give my view on the future of
My vision is to build on the strong
foundations of community nursing
to ensure we provide a world class,
accessible, high-quality, person-
centred service, delivered by highly
skilled nursing teams.
he UK has an ageing
population, with services
focusing on helping people
maintain independence at home,
and managing the growing number
of people living with chronic
conditions and complex needs.
Community nursing has never been
more important, but I believe it has
to change if we are to maintain high
levels of care in this evolving health
and social care context.
To do this, we must make better
use of technology and the roll-out of
the electronic care record is the first
step. Working as an integrated team,
coordinating care and working
alongside GPs is an important focus.
The workforce will need
to expand to support the
implementation of TYC. The
Minister for Health, Edwin Poots,
has announced a nursing workforce
review, which I will lead along with
colleagues in the department and in
Heath and Social Care (HSC).
Finally, Northern Ireland is
developing a new public health
strategy. All staff have a role in
public health, but opportunities
exist in the community to work
with vulnerable groups and
older people to promote healthy
lifestyles. We must also ensure
that our children get the best start
in life. I really want to maximise
the nursing contribution to this
as specialist community public
health nurses (SCPHN). The review
identified that in addition to the
full-time degree programmes, a
range of modules should also be
available to community nurses.
Working in the community is
fundamentally different to the acute
hospital and a ‘fundamentals’ of
community practice module was
developed, which forms the basis on
which all other modules are built.
A significant number of community
staff nurses have already completed
This is a challenging time to be
a community nurse, with increasing
pressure to care for people at home.
I believe there are opportunities
for nurses to help reform services,
including working with other sectors
that will improve the care of patients.
Given the demands on the health
systems change in community care is
not only a desirable option it is now
urgent and essential.
First and foremost, our
responsibility is to our patients and
their families. My view on community
nursing is formed by my belief in
person-centred care. People should
have a good care experience regardless
of the hour of day or night, with the
care we provide being both safe and of
a high standard.
These principles are the core of
. When we
deliver care that is person-centred,
evidence tells us that patients and
families feel involved as partners in
their care, are treated with respect and
dignity, and have confidence in us as
nurses. Delivering this type of care is
challenging, as sometimes healthcare
systems do not enable this way of
working. The challenge is to change
the model of care to one based on the
premise that‘home is the hub’, with
care wrapped around the individual.
This is a core principle in
(TYC) and how we will
reform health and social care in
At a strategic level, earlier this
year the Welsh Government set
Delivering Local Health Care
report, a three-year plan for NHS
Wales designed to strengthen local
healthcare services. It recognises how
critical integration is in assessing
the health needs of older people
with complex needs and using that
assessment to deliver integrated care.
Community-based services that
support the interface between primary
and hospital services, together with
social services, have developed
considerably over the last few years,
supporting more people to be cared
for in their own homes, but more can
be done. How well we deliver services
depends not just on the model of care
we use, but on having the right health
workforce to deliver it.
In 2008, Wales reviewed how
it delivered community specialist
practice qualifications (including
district nurses) as well as the
programmes leading to registration
Dr Jean White, Chief Nursing
Officer/Nurse Director, Wales.
Charlotte McArdle, Chief Nursing
Officer, Northern Ireland.