Introduction to the community matron role
What are community matrons?
Community matrons are highly experienced, senior nurses who work closely with patients (mainly those with a serious long term condition or complex range of conditions) in a community setting to directly provide, plan and organise their care.
As well as providing nursing care, community matrons act as ‘case manager’ – a single point of contact for care, support or advice, typically for a caseload of around 50 very high intensity users.
Community matrons are usually deemed to be working as advanced nurse practitioners - highly skilled nurses who can:
- take a comprehensive patient history
- carry out physical examinations
- use their expert knowledge and clinical judgement to identify the potential diagnosis
- refer patients for investigations
- where appropriate make a final diagnosis
- decide on and carry out treatment, including the prescribing medicines, or refer patients to an appropriate specialist
- use their extensive practice experience to plan and provide skilled and competent care that meets patients’ health and social care needs, involving other members of the healthcare team as appropriate
- ensure the provision of continuity of care, including follow-up visits
- assess and evaluate, with patients, the effectiveness of the treatment and care provided and make changes as needed
- work independently, although often as part of a healthcare team
- provide leadership
- make sure that each patient’s treatment and care is based on best practice.
Most posts tend to involve working with the complete age range, but some posts may be designated to work with specific client groups, such as the elderly or children.
Where do they work?
Community matrons see patients in their own home and in other community settings. They work as part of multi-professional and multi-agency teams.
Getting in/skills needed
You will need to be a registered and experienced nurse with a range of skills. For information about training as a registered nurse, click here.
Nurses who want to become community matrons can learn in the workplace and build on the competences they already have. You will probably be required to work towards achievement of a masters level of qualification.
Community matrons need a high level of communication, problem-solving and decision-making skills. They must be able to manage risk appropriately, and to take responsibility for their own decisions.
Drawing on the knowledge of social, biological and epidemiological sciences, community matrons need a sound understanding of change management, organisational development and emotional intelligence.
Community matrons are usually employed by primary care trusts (PCTs) and job vacancies appear on the NHS Jobs website.
More general information about the role of community matrons can be found on the Department of Health website.