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District nursing faces greater pressure

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Pressure will fall on district nursing because fewer people are being look after in residential homes, according to a leading care homes expert.

A report by the NHS Information Centre, Community Care Statistics 2008, showed the number of people living in residential or nursing homes dropped by 4% to 239,100 between 2007-08.

This means almost 120,000 fewer people are receiving residential care now than in 2005.

Frank Ursell, Registered Nursing Home Association chief executive, said the number of people needing care had not diminished, but that the government’s drive to reduce local authority funded placements was forcing those in need into sheltered accommodation.

‘The impact will be felt by district nursing which is already oversubscribed, under funded and under resource.

‘Any increase in the numbers of people being kept at home must have a significant affect on their workload,’ said Mr Ursell.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I have this idea.... Wouldn't it be fabulous if district nurses could care for patients in their surrounding neighbourhoods - maybe a mile radius. They could have internet communication with individual GP's regarding each patient, work a lot more on prevention rather than cure. Know each family's medical history individually. It would be so rewarding to keep your immediate neighbourhood healthy. Utopian I know but so much better for patients, the community and the planet!

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  • I don't think that this could work. District Nursing is poorly funded and undervalued at the moment, we would need a massive investment and massive increase in the number of staff. Also, not everyone within a mile radius of a GP practice likes that GP so they often register elsewhere.
    What we need is for DN services to be valued and funded and skilled qualified DN's to be in post.

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