The community nursing workforce in England

06 June 2012
In the last decade parallel goals for financial efficiency in the NHS and for care pathways which deliver the best outcomes for patients have aligned to ensure a consistent policy objective to move care out of acute (hospital) settings and into people's homes and communities. 
In this report, the RCN uses the latest official data and survey evidence to provide a picture of NHS services and staff under increasing pressure. Data from the NHS Information Centre is used to analyse community nursing workforce trends in the last decade, to expose the precarious current status of the community workforce. In addition, a survey of RCN nurses working in community services was conducted to explore the impact this understaffing has on patients and the delivery of health services. In April 2012, 2,219 nurses working in community settings in England told us about the changes to staffing in their teams in the last year; their perceptions of how well equipped community services are to enact the acuter community shift; and how current pressures on the social services' budgets are impacting on nursing services and patient care.

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