District Nursing service should not be overlooked

In the debate about GP home visits

The importance and value of the District Nursing service should not be overlooked in the debate about delivering the best possible healthcare for patients within their own homes.

Last month GPs voted to end home visits as part of their contract at the Local Medical Committees Conference in London. They cited a lack of capacity and the belief that other health care professionals, such as Advanced Practitioners, Paramedics and Physician Associates, could support and carry out this role as being the reason for the vote in favour of this move.

At Hallam Medical we already use highly skilled and experienced District Nurses to support our clients and their services. We know it is a speciality in high demand and appreciate the District Nurse as a clinician with a high level of autonomy if we looked to the District Nursing Service the solution to home visits could already be in place.

In a recent article, the Chief Executive of nursing charity The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) Dr Crystal Oldman CBE warned that District Nurses were being overlooked in favour of other specialities in this debate over GP Home visits.

In the article Dr Crystal Oldman CBE commented: “Most people probably do not realise what the daily work of a District nurse entails. They are the key co-ordinators of multiple services and manage treatment for complex conditions, preventing patients from needing hospital admission. The District Nursing service was created in order to treat people, often with complex and long-term conditions in their own homes and to provide end-of-life care where the majority of people would like to receive that care.”

 

The QNI has also just  commissioned an independent report “District Nursing Today – The view of District Nurse Team Leaders in the UK”  The report found that a “fundamental misunderstanding of the crucial role played by the District Nurse in providing a critical, nurse-led service in every local community has led to a lack of investment and undervaluing of their role and the work they do.”

The report highlighted a lack of investment in the District Nursing Service as being a contributing factor to the falling numbers in District Nurses and therefore adding more pressure to the ever-increasing workload of our GPs.

Managing Director of Hallam Medical, Deborah McCain said we support services throughout the UK with our team of highly skilled and experienced District and Community Nurses.

Deb said: “District Nurses usually work outside of the four walls of the GP surgery. They exist to provide essential care to housebound patients of all ages and do an incredible job in preventing thousands of unplanned admissions and attendances in Accident and Emergency Departments each and every day. They are an essential part of any Primary Care Team and could be used to support patients who would normally struggle to get into a doctor’s surgery or health centre.”

Call Deb today to find out more about our District and Community Nurses and how we can support you, your service and your patients on 07788313661 or email deborahmccain@hallammedical.com.

 

You can read the QNI’s article highlighting the importance of the District Nursing Service in the current Home Visiting debate here.