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QNI welcomes opportunities presented by new NHS strategy

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Community nurses have been encouraged to “step up and take the challenge” presented to them by NHS England’s five-year plan, which includes a shake-up of care delivery models and more leadership opportunities for nurses.

The Queen’s Nursing Institute, which represents district nurses, said it was delighted with proposals to expand clinical leadership in primary and community care to nurses and other healthcare professionals, and that it was time for the workforce to meet the challenge.

The organisation told Nursing Times it welcomed these and other changes detailed in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View, such as the emphasis on public health actions and interventions to help reverse the upward trend of preventable ill health.

“We are delighted with the opportunities for community nursing leadership and development this report brings”

Crystal Oldman

It said it was also pleased to see a change in focus around care delivery, emphasising care in people’s homes and communities.

QNI chief executive Crystal Oldman noted that the report underlined her organisation’s own findings, which had shown a significant underspend over the past decade in developing staff to lead and manage district nursing teams.

The size of the workforce has been in long-term decline but the most recent set of figures, fro July, suggested what the institute described as an ‘encouraging’ increase in newly-trained district nurses.

Crystal Oldman

Crystal Oldman

She said: “We are now seeing this trend being reversed and this, coupled with the stated planned increase in those working in the general practice nursing service, will be welcomed by all nurses working in these essential but very stretched and challenged services.”

Ms Oldman did add that she was disappointed to see care in communities described as “out-of-hospital” care in the five-year plan, because it perpetuated the notion that hospitals were the single reference point of healthcare.

“We are, overall, delighted with the opportunities for community nursing leadership and development that this report brings,” she said, adding: “It is time for community nursing to step up and take the challenge.”

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Readers' comments (2)

  • The Americanism term of 'step up' is a cop out from the institute. I am not a DN but have worked with them in the past. They are highly skilled nurses that know what needs to be done but need the resources and numbers on the ground to do so. So suggesting they step up is an insult. She even acknowledges in article that DN workforce have been in decline for years!

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  • I have to agree that "time to step up" is an unfortunate turn of phrase. The qni has done much for district nursing and I know that they are well aware that DN's are already doing a great job and will continue to adapt as we always have. This is not so much a challenge as a welcome recognition of what we do.

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