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.”