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Impact of a Community Peripatetic Nursing Team

Vicky Queen, Acute Parkinson's Disease Nurse Specialist, Torbay & South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

Vicky's case study was completed in October 2015 and reflects 2015 prices

The increased use of agency and bank staff at Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care Trust was putting significant pressure on the Trust's budget. In just one year, the Trust's agency bill was £304,200. Despite attempts to increase the size of the nursing bank, the inflexibility of this resource meant that as many as 35% of shifts would have to be covered by agency staff.

Although more flexible, some agency staff lacked knowledge of the local area (a key skill for community-based nursing), and the clinical skills to meet the Trust's needs. Vicky Queen, then Interim Head of Nursing at the Trust, proposed a solution - to create a peripatetic nursing team which provided nursing staff to both community teams and hospitals, when required.

An economic assessment of this new team soon illustrated significant cost savings of £65 per shift, when compared to agency staff.

Vicky, now Acute Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist (PDNS) at the Trust, found the cost of the peripatetic team to be equal to that of the nursing bank. Crucially, the new peripatetic team had the stability and flexibility required to provide shifts when and where they are most needed.

You can contact Vicky by email vicky.queen@nhs.net.

Case Study

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