The 'Right Nurse, Right Skills' campaign aims to ensure that patients get the right care in their own homes. We need your support, whether you are a nurse, patient or just someone who cares about healthcare. We have already gathered 3,000 supporters from offline efforts, but are looking to reach our target of 10,000 supporters total.
1 in 4 people over the age of 75 need a district nurse's care at home, rising to 1 in 2 people over 85. In total they visit more than 2.6 million people a year.
The need for skilled home nursing is rising as the population ages, more people live with long term conditions, and people are discharged earlier from hospital.
Yet the number of trained district nurses has been falling for more than a decade, to fewer than 10,000 in England. At the same time, the number of health care assistants - trained to do specific tasks but who are not qualified nurses - has more than doubled.
Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of The International Longevity Centre commented:
"The need for skilled home nursing is rising fast as the population ages and people are discharged home earlier from hospital. The care they are given must be given by the right nurse with the right skills, which is why I am delighted to support the QNI in its vital campaign. I would encourage everyone who cares about the quality of nursing that they and their loved ones will receive at home when they need it, to support this campaign."
We are not campaigning 'against' healthcare assistants. We are campaigning for a properly skilled and trained home nursing workforce, so that patients receive the care that they need.
What do we want?
- All nurse team leaders to have specific community training so that they can ensure patients receive safe and high quality care in the home;
- All nursing teams to carry out regular audits of their skills to ensure they match patients' needs; All nurses to get skills training to match patients' needs;
- All nurses new to the community to have a programme of support during their first six months.
Working in patients' homes is a privilege, and the patients there are some of the most vulnerable in society. We are concerned that their care may suffer if the nurses or assistants who visit them are too inexperienced or unprepared. The real danger is that this decline in care will be invisible as it happens behind closed doors.
As part of the campaign:
- We will be identifying and publishing a list of educational courses that focus on preparing nurses to work in the community
- We will be seeking out effective skills audit tools, and making these available for nurse teams to use
- We will be developing and publicising good examples of preceptorship (support) programmes for nurses new to the community, which employers can use 'off the shelf' for new staff
Thank you joining us in ensuring quality care for all patients!