On 20 November, BBC News reported on the state of District Nursing in the UK, showing how community teams are ‘stretched to the limit’.

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, the QNI’s chief executive commented:

‘The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) welcomes the BBC’s report on community nursing. Nurses providing care in patients’ homes are an ‘invisible workforce’ and it is therefore encouraging that community nurses and the pressures they face have been recognised and reported by the BBC.

‘The QNI has for some time raised significant concerns about the declining numbers in the community nursing workforce. Statistics reported today depict a decline of 46.4% in the number of full-time equivalent District Nurses in England between 2010 and 2017.  These figures are alarming, given the UK policy imperatives for more care to be delivered in people’s homes and communities.

‘District Nurses care for some of the most vulnerable in our society; ensuring that people remain safely cared for in their homes, maintaining independence and being supported to manage conditions or end-of-life care that might otherwise result in an admission to our over-stretched hospital services. The current community nursing workforce is facing unprecedented challenges and the QNI is additionally concerned by evidence of a downward trajectory in the number of university places for District Nurse training.

‘Government policy has placed increasing emphasis on care being provided in the community and in patients’ homes yet this has not, to date, been followed with the required investment in workforce numbers, resources and skills development. We call on the Government to take immediate action in developing a workforce plan for the District Nursing service, supporting the health of communities in every village, town and city of the UK. We also hope to see the Chancellor respond by providing community nursing services with a much needed injection of new resources in tomorrow’s Autumn Budget.’

View the BBC’s story here: www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41974736

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