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Patients could be offered one to one nursing care for complex conditions

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Patients with complex long term conditions could be offered one to one nursing care under plans outline by Andy Burnham today.

In his five year strategy, From good to great: preventative,people-centred,productive, the health secretary said the government will focus on helping patients with cancer and complex long term conditions who could benefit from a more personal approach to nursing.

The document said all parts of the NHS should continually review the way such conditions are managed and seek out and adopt best practice.

“Where appropriate this should include the provision of personalised one-to-one support by a health professional.”

The Department of Health will consider the plans and work out how much it would cost to give patients a right to this kind of personalised nursing care. It will publish the results early next year.

Macmillan Cancer Support head of healthcare Philippa Palmer said: “I think it is a good idea. In many cases the clinical nurse specialist acts as the key facilitator for people living with cancer. What we’ve got to make sure is that this access is available to all people regardless of where they live and the cancer type they have. That isn’t available to all at the moment.

“This is a step on the road to improving supportive self-management for patients, which is very satisfying for professionals.”

Fran Davies, sssistant director of the Marie Curie Nursing Service, said: “We support any initiative that gives patients more choice and more personalised care. Our charity already provides one to one nursing care to those at end of life and we want to work more with the NHS to help give more care to more patients.”

National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses chari Liz Darlison said: “This document builds on Lord Darzi’s vision, reaffirms the rights of patients and looks to NHS staff to lead improvements – all of which can’t be a bad thing. It reinforces the role of the key worker and clearly acknowledges the benefit of having tumour site specific cancer nurse specialists in cancer.”



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Readers' comments (5)

  • A truly wonderful idea and I for one would be all for it if it was at all an affordable achievable goal. Where on earth is the funding coming from now in the middle of a recession?

    The NHS is seriously short of funds, Nurses are having their pay frozen, staff numbers are down wards are short of Nursing Staff now, many areas chronically so.

    This scheme is, in my opinion, nothing more than a vote attracting pipe dream.

    We should try to get the NHS back to pre New Labour meddling safe and workable staffing levels before allowing politicians with an eye to their future employment, to spin the service into yet another 'New Labour NHS success story'.

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  • Isn't that what the Community Matron 'initiative' is/was all about? Or have I completely missed the point. Do we really need more initiatives without fully utilising what is already out here. I agree the sentiment may be something society should aspire to but in reality it will be too expensive and the outcomes will not tick the boxes that need ticking for health trusts.

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  • Nice idea...how is this to be implemented under the current economic conditions? Maybe the government is diverting money from our pay to fund the genetic cloning of nursing staff, so that 1 nurse really can do the work of 4 for the same money & provide the care described above!

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  • Can anyone tell me why "personalised 'one to one' care" is a new concept? I thought I had been providing that for my patients for 27 years.

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  • Once again "pie in the sky" from Andy Burnham, we cannot staff wards properly as it is so how does he suggest we manage this? It is a lovely idea but was he wearing rose coloured glasses when he said it? His ideas such as "being able to register and receive tretment close to where you work" do not work in reality, and this will not either. Is he aware that in the area he lives in the local PCT has a recruitment freeze on ?? Where is the budget or the nurses going to come from?? This idea is spin once again, its just words.

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