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RCN London calls for better investment in out of hospital care

27 Jan 2015

RCN London has called for increased investment in out of hospital care in response today to a major review of health care in North West London.

Led by Michael Mansfield QC, the review looked into the Shaping a Healthier Future programme of hospital reorganisations, on behalf of The North West London Health Commission. 

Hospital closures

RCN London has called for the suspension of further hospital closures in the area, as the promised investment in out of hospital care has yet to be delivered on the scale needed to keep patients safe. This winter the remaining A&E units in the area have experienced some of the longest waiting times in the country.

RCN London invited members working locally to contribute to our response to the review. Among the problems raised by local nursing staff were increased waits for ambulances, pressure on GP services and ‘unmanageable’ strain on district nursing staff. 

Damaged patient care

Regional Director of RCN London, Bernell Bussue said: “The RCN will always support service reorganisation which delivers improvements in the quality of patient care. However it is just not clear that patients have seen any benefit from these changes so far. 

“The positive case for the Shaping a Healthier Future programme was based on an increase in out of hospital care to enable more patients to be kept well or treated at home to reduce hospital admissions. In practice, little seems to have been done to boost capacity elsewhere in the system to make up for the closures. Proper replacement services, transition arrangements, funding and a workforce plan should have been in place before the existing units were cut. 

“Nursing staff working in the area have told us the closures have damaged patient care. The remainder of the Shaping a Healthier Future closures should be suspended until out of hospital capacity is properly expanded.”      

Page last updated - 15/06/2018