The Institute of Health Visiting supports the RCN/QNI call for reinvestment into district nursing after a shocking loss of district nurses over the past 10 years.
A new report from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) calls for urgent investment in District Nursing, as new figures show the number of District Nurses working in the NHS has dropped by almost 43 per cent in England alone in the last ten years. As a result, there are only some 4,000 District Nurses providing care for a population of around 55.8 million in England, a ratio of only one District Nurse for every 14,000 people. This compares with one GP for every 1,600 people.
The report, Outstanding Models of District Nursing, is published during the RCN’s annual Congress in Liverpool, where the 5,000 nursing staff attending include large numbers of District Nurses from around the UK.
Recent government strategy has called for more nursing care to be delivered in the community and in people’s homes in order to reduce patients’ lengths of stay in hospital and avoid unplanned admissions. The NHS Long Term Plan has identified the District Nursing service, which provides vital care for people in their own homes and in the community, as a key part of this strategy. However, government policies have not been followed by the investment needed to make the vision a reality, says the joint report.