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District nursing charity launches survey on community workforce

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The Queen’s Nursing Institute has launched a new UK wide survey of the district nursing workforce to help the charity to determine what investment and support is needed for the service.

The community nursing charity hopes the survey will create the “most accurate picture ever” of the district nursing service.

“Your views and experiences are of vital importance in helping the QNI to understand the current challenges in the district nursing service” 

Crystal Oldman

Dr Crystal Oldman, the QNI’s chief executive, is urging all district nurse team leaders across the UK to complete the survey by 15 July.

“Your views and experiences are of vital importance in helping the QNI to understand the current challenges in the district nursing service and will provide the data needed to determine what new investment and support can be given to strengthen services in future,” she said.

All countries of the UK have policy imperatives which focus on more care being delivered in the community and district nursing services are playing a “crucial role in this strategic effort”, noted the QNI.

The charity hopes its new survey will help to uncover how the service is adapting to changing technology, utilising innovative approaches to care, and managing rising demand and increased complexity in care delivery.

After the closing date, the survey will be analysed within the International Community Nursing Observatory (ICNO) of the QNI and will be published at the formal launch of the ICNO on 18 November.

According to the QNI, the survey is the first of its kind since the publication of the “2020 Vision Five Years On” in 2014, which was based on the responses of 1035 nurses.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Nursing Times this month, Dr Oldman warned that a fundamental lack of understanding of the true value of nurses was leading to the creation of yet more “shiny new” initiatives at the expense of the profession.

She said she feared the future of vital specialties such as district nursing were under threat, because they were not seen as a priority for funding.

She said a key challenge for the community nursing sector was that current performance indicators did not measure “positive outcomes” delivered by these professionals, such as preventing hospital admissions and helping people die at home.

The collection of this sort of data would help build a case for investment and was something that the QNI was looking into doing, said Dr Oldman.

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