This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

District nursing cuts leave older patients stuck in 'vicious cycle'

Written by: | Published:

Cuts to community care are mounting Cuts to community care are mounting

Older people are forced to turn to A&E as cuts to district nursing leave them without care at home, according to a report from Christie & Co.

Research found there has been a 44% drop in the number of district nurses since 2010, contributing to a steep loss of community care and support. It was also found that 65% more people over age 60 have attended A&E departments since 2008.

READ MORE: The hidden threat to district nursing

Losing their preventative social care, the research indicates an ageing population has become more reliant on acute hospital care. The research was carried out alongside social care industry experts, surveying every local authority and more than 200 leading operators.

Understaffing in the community was also shown to lead to delays in discharging, with more than 2 million in 2016.

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) chief executive Janet Davies said: ‘Older people are being let down by a cut-price social care system that struggles to provide basic and dignified care. This report paints a highly concerning picture of the short-sighted approach in recent years.

READ MORE: Financial pressures affecting district nursing

‘It is a vicious cycle with very real human consequences. Vulnerable people are caught between understaffed hospitals, dwindling community care and under-funded residential homes. It cannot continue.’

The RCN called for government investment in community care, as well as nursing expertise, to plug the gaps in district nursing.

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.



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.


Sign up to the newsletter


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


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.


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


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.