May 24 – The NHS needs to train more community nurses if it is to hope to cut hospital costs, according to an analysis published yesterday. Inadequacies in community services mean that patient stays in UK hospitals are the longest in Europe, according to the Royal College of Nursing report. However Britain is not alone in struggling to ensure community health services have enough resources, the college says. It’s researchers studied experience in Scandinavia, Australia and Canada.
They said a “whole system” approach was most effective – and this meant provision was not cut in acute services until resources were available in existing and new community services.
College chief executive Dr Peter Carter said: “Care closer to home is not only what patients want, it is what UK health services need to do to avoid costly, lengthy and unnecessary hospital stays.
“However, the number of District Nurses has fallen by an astonishing 42% over the last decade. Only five District Nurses were trained in London last year. This means that District Nurses simply won’t be able to keep on giving the increasingly complex care required to meet the rise in demand. Read the rest