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8% of district nursing posts cut

15th February 2012

Research carried out by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Eastern has revealed that the number of district nurses in the East of England was cut by an average of 8% during a six-month period.

Its figures showed district nursing cuts ranged from 6% to 26% between February 2011 and October 2011 and also highlighted wide variations in the skill mix of district nursing staff between registered and unregistered nurses. More than 50% of district nursing staff were found to be unregistered in Norfolk compared to 14% in Suffolk.

 

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Matthew Bradby

Thursday 16th February 2012 @ 12:34

This research makes a very important point, and one which the Queen's Nursing Institute has also been making. Unless there are strong community nursing teams, with good leadership and skill mix, it will not be possible to move patient care from hospitals into the community. Our report, 'Nursing People at Home', published in November, highlighted this. We are very concerned about the fall in district nurse numbers. With the pressures of an ageing population, many of whom have complex, long term conditions, the need for qualified district nurses will rise, not fall. Increased workloads on fewer nurses creates a vicious circle, as a third say they do not plan to be working as a district nurse within five years. Where will this leave patient care?


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