District Nursing Services

Update from NHS Lanarkshire

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picture of Morag Anderson


District Nursing has changed dramatically since its inception over 130 years ago. In the early days they nursed the poor, relieving suffering and teaching the rules of health and comfort.

This role has expanded over the years due to the introduction of the National Health Service; as well as advances in treatments and our understanding of disease processes have also developed and improved.

District Nursing Services support patients, their families and carers from birth to death. The service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, with teams providing treatments, care and support to people in their own homes.

The goal to Shift the Balance of care from the acute services into Primary care. This brings the need to ensure the nurses have the skills, confidence, equipment and support to provide the level of care the patient requires.

District Nurses now work collaboratively with other health professionals such as Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists and other services such as Homecare. This integrated way of working and level of expertise, enables people to return home from hospital earlier than they used to and continue with their recovery, recuperation and rehabilitation. We are able to support people to remain at home with complex health issues and support people approaching the end of life with palliative care and support if that is their choice.

The District Nursing Team in Cumbernauld have been at the forefront of trialling the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) in primary care. This enables nurses to identify when people’s clinical condition is deteriorating, or could be a cause of concern and then using a Structured Response approach to plan their care, or escalate safely to other services such as GP, Hospital at Home, or hospital.

The benefits of using the NEWS and a Structured Response has led to the formation of a Deteriorating Patient Team, with the aim that all community nurses are supported and trained to confidently carry this out.

If you have an experience of NHS Lanarkshire District Nursing Service you’d like to share, please speak to a member of staff, respond on Care Opinion, or visit the “Your Feedback” Section of the NHS Lanarkshire website to see the other ways to get in touch www.nhslanarkshire.scot

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