Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Health secretary launches community 'named nurse' plan


Older patients should have a named nurse or doctor responsible for their care in the community, health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced last week.

The move is intended to ensure “accountability is clear” and forms part of a range of government proposals aimed at improving care for older people.

In a speech to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the NHS, Mr Hunt said: “The challenge of our time is to make radical improvements so that the NHS’ heaviest users – our most vulnerable and elderly – stay in good health and out of hospital.

“Too often these people have fallen through the cracks – ending up in hospital not by design, but simply because they can’t get the care they need elsewhere,” he said.  “That’s why we are asking the NHS to make one clinician responsible for their care in the community.”

It follows a speech made by Mr Hunt last month in which he said the name of the nurse or doctor responsible for a patient’s care in hospital should be written above their bed and which is already being piloted at several London acute trusts.

The Royal College of Nursing said it welcomed the idea of providing a named clinician for patients being cared for in the community.

RCN chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter said: “Community nurses are already essential co-ordinators for patients, and give advice and signposting to other services which may be required.”

But he added: “It is vital that the named clinicians in this role have the capacity and the organisational support to join up services so that patients experience a seamless journey from home to hospital and back again.”

Mike Hobday, director of policy and research at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We welcome plans to make the care of older people with long-term conditions more co-ordinated by giving them a named clinician when they leave hospital.”

A consultation on the government’s proposals – called the Vulnerable Older People’s Plan – was also launched on Friday. It is part of the latest NHS Mandate, the document setting out the government’s goals and targets for the health service for 2014-15.

The Department of Health will consult on proposals for the Vulnerable Older People’s Plan over the summer, with a final version due to be published in the autumn.  

Mr Hunt also paid tribute to the NHS, saying it had “done more to improve people’s lives that any other institution in our history”. 

“We express our thanks to the millions of hard-working NHS staff who literally save lives round the clock. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude,” he said.


Are you able to Speak Out Safely? Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.


Readers' comments (31)

  • michael stone

    The above link is to this theme on the Pulse site (GPs I gather) - they don't seem very keen, either !

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • tinkerbell

    I nipped into that website you posted above and then nipped out pretty swiftly too, didn't realise that GP's swore more than I do but all this nonsense, can't blame em though. The poster who wrote where's all the money for this coming from, probably my bank account made me giggle and he seems pretty resigned about it all, and there are a number on there who are also resigning.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • a more satisfactory idea might be a named politician for every citizen to whom concerns can be directly addressed and followed up by immediate discussion of the most suitable solutions :-)

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Why not just provide more Staff? This man is a typical politician, he knows absolutely nothing about the problems faced on a daily basis by front line staff.

    Offer support to those who do the work and pay your wages Hunt, not obfuscate the issue with vague meaningless smoke and mirror statements.

    These are real people's lives you are messing with, not playing word games with your friends in Westminster!!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Will other 'vulnerable' patients get a named nurse too? others 'fall through the cracks' - particularly those with mental health issues, the younger patients with dementia, parkinsons, MS. How about trying to improve care for those who have real trouble trying to access any health-care like the homeless.

    What's this crap about putting a nurse OR a doctor name above the patients bed - bit of a change from his original plan isn't it?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • michael stone

    tinkerbell | 7-Jul-2013 3:21 pm

    There clearly isn't a bad language filter, for the GP website - and I'm guessing that Hunt et al don't read it before breakfast, either. I only scanned the first page of comments (noticed there were several more) but I'd got the message: I think 'half-wit' was about typical.

    It did explain to me, what a community matron is, though.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Tiger Girl

    michael stone | 7-Jul-2013 1:18 pm

    'they don't seem very keen, either' is something of an understatement!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • tinkerbell

    well if that's what a community matron is then i'm one too and I demand a wage rise.
    Yeah, dream on.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 'named nurse' plan
    Far be it from me from blowing my own trumpet, but the so called, 'named nurse' plan' was created, formulated, and implemented way back in the early eighties, in most of the Portsmouth Trust, when I was a clinical nurse manager.
    Needless to say, the NHS has obviously 'gone to pot' since I retired in the late nineties.
    No wonder the patients are constantly being neglcted within hospital wardsand in the community during these present times.
    All my nursing qualifications, i.e., RMN; SRN; CPN Cert. are now deemed valueless, but, I bet I could do a better job now than your most university qualified today. They haven't a clue!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I've been a 'named nurse' since 1992, nothing new, just another knee jerk reaction to pacify the ever complaining public and media. This is a load of tosh, we know it, they know it, let's just get down to doing our jobs well with the right amount of suitably competent staff.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • michael stone

    tinkerbell | 8-Jul-2013 6:51 pm

    One of the GPs, stated that looking after these vulnerable patients in the community, was the role of community matrons, I think (link in my 7-Jul-2013 1:18 pm post) :

    Anonymous | 05 July 2013 9:05am

    Community matrons were brought in to look after patients in the community who had complex needs! Patients do not need a named clinician as they already have a GP and a whole practice team set in place to look after their needs. Jeremy Hunt, you are a fool and a clown, you are dabbling with things that you have little knowledge of!

    But I still like this one the best:

    Anonymous | 05 July 2013 9:17am

    Half wit!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Show 102050results per page

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.