A new report from the Royal College of Nursing and Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) calls for urgent investment in District Nursing, as new figures show the number of District Nurses working in the NHS has dropped by almost 43 percent in England alone in the last ten years.
As a result, there are only some 4,000 District Nurses providing care for a population of around 55.8 million in England, a ratio of only one District Nurse for every 14,000 people. This compares with one GP for every 1,600 people.
The report, Outstanding Models of District Nursing, calls for a commitment to investment and training to meet the challenges caused by simultaneous rising patient demand and falling numbers of these highly-qualified staff.
Recent government strategy has called for more nursing care to be delivered in the community and in people’s homes in order to reduce patients’ lengths of stay in hospital and avoid unplanned admissions.
The NHS Long Term Plan has identified the District Nursing service, which provides vital care for people in their own homes and in the community, as a key part of this strategy.