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1 in 4 people over the age of 75 need a district nurse's care at home, rising to 1 in 2 people over 85. In total they visit more than 2.6 million people a year. The need for skilled home nursing is rising as the population ages, more people live with long term conditions, and people are discharged earlier from hospital.
Yet the number of trained district nurses has been falling rapidly for more than a decade. At the same time, the number of healthcare assistants - trained to do specific tasks but who are not qualified nurses - has more than doubled.
Nursing care in the community has also got more complicated. In order to ensure that high quality care is available to everyone, where and when they need it, we need investment in community nursing education, training and workforce. Only this way can we have properly skilled and qualified nurses available at all times - the right nurse, with the right skills.
Nursing at home is not a luxury or an optional extra; it must be at the very core of healthcare. Without a universal home nursing service, hospital discharge is more difficult, other services become overburdened and, most importantly, patients suffer.We need investment in home nursing to make sure patients are able to stay at home, safe, supported, secure and comfortable, and avoid unnecessary and stressful hospital admissions.
Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of The International Longevity Centre says:
“The need for skilled home nursing is rising fast as the population ages and people are discharged home earlier from hospital. The care they are given must be given by the right nurse with the right skills, which is why I am delighted to support the QNI in its vital campaign. I would encourage everyone who cares about the quality of nursing that they and their loved ones will receive at home when they need it, to support this campaign.”