District Nurses are senior nurses in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service who manage care within the community.

They lead teams of community nurses and support workers, as well as visiting house-bound patients to provide advice and care such as palliative care, wound management, catheter and continence care and medication support.

District nurses are able to prescribe medication to patients in a similar way to General Practitioner doctors, as Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribers under the Nurse Prescribers’ Formulary for Community Practitioners (Part XVIIB(i) of the Drug Tariff), depending on individual qualifications.

They may be trained to assess patient’s needs for equipment provision such as mobility and independent living aids, medical equipment such as specialist beds and mattresses, as well as guidance in applying for grants and welfare benefits. Their work involves both follow-up care for recently discharged hospital inpatients and longer term care for chronically ill patients who may be referred by many other services, as well as working collaboratively with general practitioners in preventing unnecessary or avoidable hospital admissions.

District nurses assess people to see how to provide nursing care that allows people to remain in their own homes, maintain their independence, or have additional support after discharge from hospital. A district nurse will manage a team of nurses that may provide wound care, train carers to administer eye drops if individuals can not do it themselves, support catheter care, and administer complex medication within a patient’s home as well as immunisations. As well as treatment, a district nurse can offer advice and support with health concerns and refer to other organisations. District Nurses can specialise in different areas such as palliative care.

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