This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

District nurse roles 'vulnerable to cuts'

Written by: | Published:

District nurses are vulnerable to cuts by organisations 'desperate to save money' because they are 'individually more expensive than less experienced staff', the RCN has warned.

The college's November update on its Frontline First campaign, published last week, found the percentage of nurses working in the community in the UK increased by 0.62 per cent between 2001 and 2012; however the number of full time equivalent district nurses providing care in the home dropped by 3,590, during the period.

Up to 61,000 NHS posts across the NHS in England are now at risk or have been axed since the coalition government came to power, the report states, up from 55,000 six months ago.

The news comes as Staffordshire clinical commissioning groups launched a review into local district nursing provision over fears seriously ill people are missing out on visits after leaving hospital at nights and weekends.

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust will pay independent experts from the private sector to lead the investigation.

It admitted with more patients needing complex support in the community, district nurses numbers, culture, management and training were all being investigated.

Siobhan Heafield, director of nursing and quality at the trust, said: 'This review will assess the greater acuity of patients we care for and will examine the capacity and skill mix of our community nursing teams. There is no specific role description for district nursing and we hope this review will help define the role more clearly and identify what other skills and professions are needed to support our community nursing service.'

Queen's Nursing Institute practice development manager Anne Pearson said: ' The picture is becoming more complicated as many community nurses are employed outside the NHS and not counted in NHS workforce figures.

'However, commissioners can see the demand for community nursing services going up and hospitals are under pressure to discharge patients quickly. You can increase the capacity of community nursing services through better organisation, but only if there are enough trained community nurses in the first place.'

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.