Today Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister of State for Care, helped launch a new report commissioned by the National Garden Scheme on the contribution of large charities to shaping the future of community nursing and healthcare in the UK.

Commissioned by the National Garden Scheme, the report focuses on the work of six well-known charities: The Queen’s Nursing Institute, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, Parkinson’s UK and MS Society. The report also explores the unique contribution of the National Garden Scheme to community nursing and healthcare since its foundation by The Queen’s Nursing Institute in 1927.

Community nurses and healthcare professionals are among the greatest assets we have, delivering high-quality care in what can often be challenging circumstances.
This is exactly why community health is at the forefront of the NHS’ Long Term Plan which sets out that integrated out-of-hospital care is needed to provide proactive, preventative and personalised care which improves patient outcomes. I look forward to working with the charitable sector to deliver this.
The report demonstrates that we have so much to learn from the charitable sector including maintaining the very close working relationships with the NHS.
The National Garden Scheme has, in its 90 plus years of experience, proven the power of charity, the benefits of thinking long-term and the wonderful ability to take something with potential and to grow it into something truly, truly special.

Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister of State

After setting out the scale of the contribution by charities to community health and social care, the report examines three key areas focused on by the beneficiary charities: community services; end-of-life care; and specialist care for long-term conditions, which together account for a substantial proportion of community health and social care expenditure. The report then sets these three into the context of national policy.

We are confident this report will make a substantial and timely contribution to the current debate about community nursing, health and care. There is universal agreement that substantial change is required; there is far less agreement, however, as to how that change should be achieved. The report’s content provides some powerful examples of what is possible by highlighting what our beneficiary charities are actually doing now.
At the same time, the report will provide lasting, tangible confirmation of the remarkable – but little known – contribution of the National Garden Scheme for many decades, as a significant and continuous funder of various national nursing and health charities.
The report concludes that we need to think differently about the strategic role that large charities can play in the design and delivery of health care. The case studies illustrate how charities are in a strong position to understand people’s needs and design services around them.

George Plumptre, Chief Executive, National Gardens Scheme

The report includes a number of case studies, including an analysis of the QNI’s Executive Leadership Programme for Queen’s Nurses, which was made by possible by funding from the National Garden Scheme. The report concludes that the significant funding over time enables the charities to plan and deliver services more effectively and to be more strategic in their approach.

The Queen’s Nursing Institute welcomes this report which explores and showcases the unique contribution of nursing charities to the health and wellbeing of people in their communities.
As the report so clearly shows, this financial support from the National Garden Scheme contributes to the success of the NHS in so many ways – and there is much that might be learned and replicated from the skills and operation of the QNI and other national nursing charities.

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, Chief Executive, The QNI

To download the report, visit the King’s Fund website.

The report was launched in Gardens and Health Week, which aims to raise awareness of physical and mental health benefits of gardens and gardening. To find out more, visit the National Garden Scheme website.

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