Roundtable discussion on the future of District Nursing
Rumination on the subject of District Nursing can often fall into the same traps – namely, a circular debate about the importance of District Nursing versus or alongside the wider integrated community workforce; and sermonising on the unique 'offer' of and importance of the District Nurse.
It is important to remember that this is well trodden ground and there is existing recent work we can refer to and promote which clearly sets out what a District Nurse is, and their contribution to the patient care pathway, in answer to these questions.
A clear message from around the table was that we all need to be better at harnessing that existing and current impact to make well-articulated and evidenced based representations to commissioning authorities.
The discussion highlighted that there are multiple facets both to promoting the value of and planning for the future of District Nursing. There are opportunities at this exciting time to influence the shape of health services, with multiple audiences to target, from politicians in the run up to the general election, to commissioning groups, the public and the media, influencing the portrayal of nurses working in the community. The messages to all these audiences may contain subtle differences but for all, it is about building a convincing case which articulates how District Nursing can help provide an economically viable and high quality experience for patients in financially challenging times, allowing people to be cared for at home, where they want to be.