NHS Providers has released a new report entitle: ‘Community Services: Taking Centre Stage’

QNI Chief Executive Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, commenting on the report said:

‘The report by NHS Providers about the state of community services asks a number of uncomfortable questions. While the narrative of the NHS in England has been to move more care closer to or into people’s homes, the reality is that this simply has not happened at the scale and levels required. NHS Providers is right to draw attention to this and to look for the underlying causes at national and local level.

‘The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) has repeatedly drawn attention to the growing demand on community services, the lack of long term investment and the staffing shortages highlighted in this report.  Community services are very well established and regarded with great respect by local citizens, but they often lack a national profile. It is very disappointing that there is an apparent ‘lack of understanding’ of the importance of community services to the effective functioning of the whole healthcare system.

‘We need to ask if we really do want a health service that invests in health promotion and prevention, that addresses the challenges and opportunities of supporting our ageing population in the home and in the community, or whether the NHS will continue to spend an ever-growing proportion of its budget on reactive, unplanned and emergency care.

‘The number of District Nurses leading services in the community has fallen by more than 43% in the last 8 years. In January 2018 the QNI called for the number of District Nurses to be returned to the 2010 level and for a robust national workforce plan to secure the future of the District Nursing service in every village, town and city. This would help reduce unplanned hospital admissions, facilitate timely discharges from hospital, provide expertise in managing wounds and give the holistic care at the end of life that the majority of people of all ages would like to see delivered in the home.’

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