District nurse numbers plummet leaving services under-resourced and unsafe

According to a new report district nursing is significantly under-resourced, with often unsafe staffing levels, which can lead to unsafe services impacting on patient care. The service also has serious retention and recruitment challenges.

The new report from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) has called for urgent investment in district nursing; new figures show the number of district nurses working in the NHS has dropped in the last ten years by almost 43% in England alone.

As a result, there are only 4,031 “full-time equivalent” district nurses now working in the NHS in England, compared with 7,643 in 2009. This means a ratio of one District Nurse for every 14,000 people, in comparison there is one GP for every 1,600 people.

Full story on Nursing Notes, 21 May 2019.