The need for home nursing is rising as the population ages, more people live with complex, long term conditions, and people are discharged earlier from hospital. High quality home nursing is essential to enable patients to live at home, avoiding illness, stress, and unnecessary hospital admissions.
District nurses used to have a general oversight of much health and social care that was provided to patients at home, and were able to co-ordinate services to ensure that people received the most appropriate care. Unfortunately this is no longer the case, which has led to some people receiving very variable quality of care.
The QNI’s report, ‘Nursing People at Home: the issues, the stories, the actions’, published in November 2011, showed that what patients value most are the attributes of skilled and experienced community nurses: the ability to assess unexpected situations, coordinate services, and answer questions about treatment.
The report followed the QNI’s Right Nurse, Right Skills campaign, which received hundreds of stories from the public describing the impact that the dilution of skills in community nursing teams can have on the quality of care. The report highlights several reasons for the loss of skills in the community, including the decline in district nurse training, an increased reliance on less experienced nurses and unqualified support staff. In fact the number of district nurses has been falling for over a decade, when the need for their skills is actually rising all the time.
The QNI is passionate about making sure that all those who need good quality care at home will receive it, provided by teams led by skilled, experienced and qualified district nurses. We do this by:
- Developing Queen’s Nurses who are committed to high standards of care in the community, leadership and learning;
- Influencing policies that affect the quality of community nursing services;
- Funding practical projects led by community nurses that improve the care that patients receive, and advance nursing practice;
- Campaigning for excellent nursing care in the home for everyone who needs it there.
Of course all of this costs money! The QNI is not part of the NHS, and we receive no Government funding so we rely on your generosity to carry on championing the work of the thousands of community nurses up and down the country.
Registered charity number 213128
Patron: Her Majesty the Queen
Putting community nursing at the forefront of patient care