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Community nursing must be 'expanded and enhanced' says RCN

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A report by the group points out that despite many “outstanding examples” of community nursing, the health service now has fewer district nurses and health visitors than a decade ago and needs much more government investment.

Community Nursing: Transforming healthcare lists the positive aspects of the service and provides many case studies, highlighting the enormous range of work carried out by nurses in the community.

Some examples discussed in the report are:

  • Workers in West Sussex caring for people with chronic illness such as diabetes or respiratory/cardiac disease.
  • A custody nurse practitioner who established a nursing service for those arrested by Metropolitan Police.
  • Providing support to young women in Northern Ireland who have just had their first baby.
  • A district nurse who tested a guide to providing end-of-life care in Lincolnshire.

Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the college, said: “The RCN wants these case studies to inform, inspire and persuade commissioners of services to scrutinise their current community nursing services and identify how they can be both expanded and enhanced for the benefit of their local population.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Richard White

    The close link between community nurses and GPs is crucial for the successful care of patients in primary care. The shortcomings of the QOF system put, I feel, an additional onus on community nurses insofar as they must ensure that patients subject to exception reporting are not isolated without proper care. It is my belief, based upon personal experience, that there is already considerable neglect of such patients - a clear breach of human rights.

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