Care

Lack of community services leaves patients stranded in hospital

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Friday, May 24, 2013 - 14:49 GMT Jump to Comments

A gap in community services means patients who could be cared for at home are stranded in hospital for days, it was said yesterday.

A comparative analysis of countries in Europe by the Royal College of Nursing’s (RCN) shows that the UK has the longest average length of hospital stay.

“Moving patient care out of acute hospitals and into the community has been a UK-wide priority for over a decade; however despite national commitments made to encourage this shift, there is limited evidence to show a tangible investment in the community,” says the report.

‘Moving Care to the community: an international perspective,’ which analysed sector specific reforms in Australia, Canada, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, called for a better integration of care between different parts of the state system, whether central, regional or local.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN said: “Care closer to home is not only what patients want, it is what UK health services need to do to avoid costly, lengthy and unnecessary hospital stays.”

But the report said many countries are struggling to provide the increased volume and range of services because they are not training enough nurses with specialist skills in the community.

Dr Carter said: “The number of district nurses [in the UK] has fallen by an astonishing 42 per cent over the last decade. Only five district nurses were trained in London last year. This means that district nurses simply won’t be able to keep on giving the increasingly complex care required to meet the rise in demand.”

“Sadly, if community services are not adequately resourced, many older people may face being admitted or readmitted to hospital as an emergency,” he added.

The report found there was a strong political push in the UK to implement community absed services, yet initiatives had been slow, fragmented and lacked coordination and strategic planning.

“Despite numerous examples of nurses delivering cost-effective care in the community, the health and social care sectors in the four UK countries are not investing in the community nursing workforce,” the report said.

The study of community care concluded that a whole systems approach was needed to address key issues like restructuring and reinvesting in the health care system and the nursing workforce.

If you enjoyed reading the story, register HERE to receive daily email alerts on public policy and public sector service delivery. Follow us on Twitter @TheInfoDaily and @InfoDailyNews.

Comments

Latest

Our fair trade organisation, Traidcraft, has just launched its Justice Campaign. The campaign is calling for the…

The impact of chronic illnesses continues to rise in the United Kingdom. The World Health Organisation estimates…

RealityBites - The National Healthcare Conversation moves to Tuesdays and takes on the future of general practice.…

Britain has a habit of funding new museums and attractions, when it would often do better to support and renovate…

The best way to track developments in UK’s local authorities is through the work of local journalists. A…

It makes sense for CCGs to have a bigger role in commissioning but they will need the oversight of NHS England…

The quarterly Enterprise Tracker report produced by RBS in association with UnLtd shows that UK social entrepreneurs,…

There needs to be a grown-up consultation with the public about how patient data is handled, says Tony Davis,…

Do you do digital? Take the test

The Information Daily is collaborating with Socitm to research organisations' commitment to and capability for a digital future.

Take the test

View Results

If you have already taken the test, you may view the latest detailed results by entering your email address below


Headline results so far: Results from 108 users

Corporate commitment: 46%
0%
100%
50%
Digital capability: 53%
0%
100%
50%

As a clinical consultant representing a proprietary software supplier in healthcare, you may be surprised to hear…

The way the NHS pays rent to GPs must be made the top priority for the new co-commissioning agenda or the shortage…

Raytheon will receive nearly half a billion pounds for its work on the cancelled eBorders project, but it was…

In 1948, responsibility for social care was handed to local councils and the medical stuff to the NHS. Now the…