"Spending money in the wrong places?"

About: Central Lancashire PCT / Community nursing

(as the patient),

With the shortage of funding within the NHS I feel the Community Matron Service is perhaps a luxury and funds would be better spent within hospitals and GP clinics/centres.

In my experience, the service appears to duplicate GP's services and at its current level is a luxury which we cannot afford.

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Response from Julie-Ann Bowden, Clinical Quality and Assurance Manager, NHS Central Lancashire

Dear Boomer

Thank you for taking the time to share your feelings about the Community Matron Service.

Your comments have been passed to an appropriate person who can then provide a more detailed response. This response will then be published on the website within 2 weeks.

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Response from Julie-Ann Bowden, Clinical Quality and Assurance Manager, NHS Central Lancashire

Dear Boomer

Further to my response above, I have now had opportunity to look into the issues you raise.

The role of the Community Matron is to enhance the health services provided to patients in the community and provide increased support for patients in their own homes. The interventions made by Community Matrons can free a GP's time so that the GP can provide consultations to patients presenting with more complex medical needs at that time. This facilitates the provision of better access to care and appropriate services to the population of Central Lancashire.

The Community Matrons continue to work towards advancing levels of practice to provide a quality, efficient and safe service that benefits the patients who are referred. One of the key aims of the service is to reduce the numbers of emergency hospital admissions. If a patient is admitted to hospital the Community Matron will liaise with the hospital team to facilitate an earlier discharge and a smooth transition back into the Primary Care setting. In achieving these targets great cost savings can be made that compensate for the cost of the CM Service.

Communication across secondary care (hospital) and Primary Care (community) can be enhanced by the Community Matron as they coordinate the patient's care and identify other services appropriately to meet the individual needs of the patient.

Overall, the Community Matron Service in Central Lancashire is one of a number of initiatives that work towards addressing and managing health services that are under increasing pressures. I hope that the comments provided here will go some way towards reassuring you that the Community Matron Service is in place to complement existing services and ensure that patients receive a better and personalised service.

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