22 July 2014

Nurchat discussion - District & community nursing, challenge vs opportunity

With high workloads, cuts to services and endless paperwork, it is no surprise that the past decade has seen a drop in staff morale and a 47% reduction in the number of district nurses.   Nurchat the online discussion group for nurses and healthcare professionals will be meeting tonight at 8pm on Twitter to discuss via #nurchat the overall challenges and opportunities affecting the District and Community Nursing profession.   Dedicated to raising and deliberating the most important issues within the sector, Nurchat meets bi-weekly, is led by qualified nurses and is open to all.  

Key challenges facing community staff have been identified as high workloads, excessive paperwork, unpaid hours, poor management, a fear of letting patients down and overall cuts to services.   A recent survey by the Queen’s institute indicated that 70% of community nurses are now experiencing poor to extremely poor morale.  With an ever shrinking, dissatisfied workforce and an increased demand for services, is the expectation to care for patients in their own home becoming an unrealistic ideal? 

Are you a district or community nurse?  Do the statistics reflect what you are actually seeing in the community?  What do you feel the implications of cuts to services are?  Do you feel patients are being short-changed with their care?  Should nurses be expected to shoulder the burden of  administration or should more support staff be available?  How would you change things?  What are the positives and opportunities of working in your profession? 

About Nurchat:

NurChat is an online community for nurses, healthcare professionals, patients and anyone with an interest or opinion on healthcare to come together, share knowledge and learn from each other. NurChat fuels inspiring debate on contemporary issues with the aim of creating a positive and significant impact on care delivery in this country.  NurChat is facilitated by Newcross Healthcare Solutions, but belongs to the wider healthcare community.