Safe Caseloads in the District Nursing Service
The District Nursing Service provides nursing care and support for patients, families and carers in homes and communities in every part of the UK.
District Nursing services often act like a ‘sponge’, absorbing additional workload in an environment without the physical limits of a defined number of beds. Modelling demand is important not only for operating current services, but crucially to plan services for the future, taking into account population health, demographics and the opportunity for remote monitoring and supported self-care.
A caseload refers to the patients served and all the activities involved in supporting people requiring care from the District Nursing service over a specified period in a specified locality. We advocate using the term ‘safe caseloads’ rather than ‘safe staffing’ to reflect a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to nurse workforce planning and deployment, which aims to provide assurance that the right nurse with the right skills will be in the right place at the right time.