In 2009 the QNI conducted a survey of district nurses and their teams to examine the state of the service and the challenges being faced at that time.
The result was the publication 2020 Vision, which has proved to be an extremely popular reference for educationalists, researchers, policy makers and practitioners alike. It has been of such worth that we have decided to carry out another survey five years on.
The changing population profile, patients with increasingly complex needs and the desire for reduced length of stay in hospital, are informing and shaping the district nurse service in ways that we have never seen before. There are hugely exciting opportunities and challenges around delivering care in the patient's home, and this is the moment that district nursing can shine in response.
However, the QNI is aware that in many areas there has been a lack of investment in the service, at both the educational and service levels of commissioning. It's recent report on district nurse education highlighted this. The district nursing service in many areas is not shining with new possibilities but creaking under the increased pressure of work.
Our new survey will capture what is happening at the frontline today. We are asking some of the same questions as before, so that we can make some direct comparisons with the service of five years ago, but we are also asking some new questions relevant to the changes in NHS architecture and the impact of the reduction in nurses holding the Specialist Practice Qualification. We are also asking nurses to propose solutions to the challenges they face.
The survey was released just 10 days ago and already there has been an overwhelming response producing some very rich data. This is, I believe, significant and shows that nurses wish to have their voices heard and for the current issues to be known, debated and addressed.
The survey will be open for several more weeks, so if you are a district nurse or a community nurse visiting patients at home, please have your say at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/tppffph