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Matrons struggle with caseloads

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Community matrons are struggling to maintain their caseloads, government-funded research has revealed.

Department of Health guidance, published in 2005, recommended caseloads for long-term conditions of between 50 and 80 patients. However, interviews with 46 case managers revealed they had 10–55 patients each, and even this was seen as ‘hard to manage’.

‘Heavy caseloads were perceived to result in a shift from proactive care towards reactive care, decreased quality of care and increased hospital admissions,’ Manchester University researchers said in the Journal of Nursing Management.

The government aimed to recruit 3,000 matrons by 2007 but only 366 were in post in England by September 2006.

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