A London primary care trust has shut its district night nurse service saying there has not been sufficient patient demand to justify it.
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NHS Newham stopped providing the night service two weeks ago. A spokesman for the PCT said a review had found that since January only two people were regularly visited by it.
The district nursing service’s daytime hours have been extended in light of the closure and both of the patients’ needs were now being met by early morning and late evening working.
The spokesman said the service was not an emergency service and that patients were referred by other professionals, which had allowed the visits to be rescheduled. He added there had been no job losses as the team’s nurses had been redeployed into the daytime service.
News of the closure follows a critical report last week from the national end of life care intelligence network, which found NHS Newham had the joint fourth highest proportion of patients dying in hospital in England, at 71.3 per cent in 2005-07.
The report highlighted how far the health service had to go before implementing the ambition set by the 2008 end of life care strategy, which said all patients nearing the end of their lives should have access to 24 hour personal care in the community and should be allowed to die at home if they wish rather than in hospital.