Talk Health and Care


Advantages - it's an absolute privilege to be working in someone's home, regularly and one to one. The professional relationship you develop with that patient is so much more than in a ward setting. 

The hours are better which suit a family/work balance. 

Working autonomously means you can develop self confidence and knowledge in a different way but you need the correct support to do this. The autonomous working can give you a feeling of more control over your working day that can be very empowering. 

Disadvantage - there are no staff, the stress levels are high as are staff sickness levels. The responsibility when your wider team of colleagues are burnt out too is enormous. You have to fight to get your patient seen by a gp, to have social care started etc.

The training is poor quality and basic for the nursing interventions that you are giving. 

There is little to no extra training that can be done as none is provided and no one has the time to attend. The opportunity to expand your role is limited by this. 

You are hidden behind a closed door. No one knows what you are doing or why. 

What can be done to encourage more staff to want to work in community settings?

We need dynamic staff in the community that can open up the world in which they work. They need to be able to use media to shine a light on what they do. They need to be passionate about their patients and fundraise for equipment that will make their and patients lives better and they need to be able to show off what they are doing.

They need service users who can share their experiences which can be promoted across the region. 

They could do with an open day where they show work colleagues what they do. They can set up a stand promoting the work they do and get people involved with dressing each other's legs, taking abpi's on each other etc. 

What would improve your day-to-day life working in the community?

1) more staff working from 9-7 pm 5 days a week with no break, no overtime paid, no chance to take time back is a recipe for disaster. 

2) more opportunity for career progression. The number of training places for district nursing is so low that there is no one to fill these positions so staff are unsupported. More community specialists teams are needed. 

3) senior staff need better support for too long community nurses have been ignored. The staff are just going about their day with their heads down, exhausted, while any suggestions to the working day are ignored and worse not even encouraged as the support stops with the sisters or the team lead. No one seems to be accountable for service improvement. They seem an island floating in the sea all alone. This would never happen in a hospital setting. 

4) named nursing for  community patients. 

Navid DHSC Apr 15, 2019

Thank you for your detailed response, Laura.

We agree that that working in the community allows staff to form close relationships with patients and to deliver tailored care which takes into account all of the patient’s needs. We need to make sure that community staff are properly supported to deliver this type of care.

We are exploring how we can make improvements in these areas. We would be interested in hearing more about what we can do to improve communication channels so community staff can ensure their patients can access GPs and social care services quicker?