Welsh Government
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Welsh Assembly Government launches consultation on new strategy to improve community nursing

A new consultation on a plan to strengthen community health services to support the care of individuals in, or close to, their own homes was launched by Health Minister Edwina Hart today.

The main recommendation of the Community Nursing Strategy is to introduce new locality based nursing teams that address the needs of patients across the spectrum from ill-health prevention to the management of complex needs.

Features of the proposed model include:

  • Every patient to have an identified case manager who will be responsible for care co-ordination.
  • An increased number of independent, non-medical prescribers in the community workforce.
  • The provision of out-patient nurse led clinics held in community settings where specialist nurses can see patients, have access to rapid diagnostics and referral rights and are independent prescribers.
  • An increase in the number of nurses trained in psychological and social therapies as well as improved access to these services across Wales.

The proposed strategy which includes 43 recommendations in total has been devised based on a report of the Community Nursing Strategy Working Group which was chaired by the Royal College of Nursing and involved a range of stakeholders.  

Edwina Hart said:

Community and primary care nurses are central to meeting the range of population heath needs from promoting health and preventing ill health to dealing with increasingly more complex needs through to end of life care.  I want community nurses to use the full range of their skills in improving healthy lifestyles and well being, in providing nursing care and treatment in the community, and in preventing and delaying the onset and early deterioration of chronic conditions.    

Community nurses play a huge role in reducing the impact of chronic conditions on secondary care and care homes and in increasing self management and independence through encouraging and facilitating the participation of those with chronic conditions.

The Community Nursing Strategy for Wales describes how to make this happen.  It refers to all nurses, midwifes and specialist community public health nurses who work in a community setting including those who work in mental health and learning disability.

Richard Jones, Interim Director of RCN Wales and Chair of the Community Nursing Strategy Working Group , said:

Nurses are key in the successful delivery of primary care in the community. Over the last year there has been a welcome increase in the number of community training places for nurses. A modular role is being adopted to allow a range of nurses who wish to work in the community with the necessary training to develop the skills needed for their role.  

This is critical to developing the flexible and skilled workforce required for a primary care led NHS care.   The Community Nursing Strategy is an essential tool to help deliver the quality of healthcare that the public expects.

The consultation will last 16 weeks.

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