"A community matron is much less stressful than hospital care"

About: Central Lancashire PCT / Community nursing

(as the patient),

I am so glad to have the community matron service as it can, hopefully, prevent my admission to hospital. To have a service "in-house" so to speak is much less stressful than being in hospital and puts less strain on my wife!

Sorry to hear that Kim, my community matron, will have less time to spend with patients owing to a change in how the system will be operated. Understand she will be spending two days per week on the "Help Desk" and my line of communication will now be through this desk and not direct with Kim.

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

Dear Scotty,

Thanks for posting your experience about the Community Matron Service in Central Lancashire.

One of the roles of a Community Matron is to co-ordinate your care in your home, providing support and helping to reduce unecessary hospital visits and admissions.

As you pay particular compliment to Kim, I will let her know about the positive comments that have been made about her.

In order to provide a full and detailed response to the issue you raise about the 'Help Desk', I will pass your comments on to an appropriate manager within the Community Matron Service in order to answer your queries. A further response will be posted within 2 weeks.

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

Dear Scotty

I have now had opportunity to obtain further details in relation to the issue you raise about the Community Matron 'Help Desk' and your Matron Kim having less time to spend with you.

The service will shortly begin to operate a Duty Desk system with the aim of creating more capacity for the service to respond to peoples needs in a more timely manner. The Duty Desk will provide direct access to a member of the team who can then ensure that a prompt assessment takes place and appropriate interventions provided in order to reduce hospital admissions. Currently these more urgent calls go direct to your named matron who may then need to cancel/ or reduce the length of time spent with other patients. This process will allow Matrons the time to complete their planned visits. Having less interruptions by phone calls will ultimately result in your Community Matron having more time to spend on patient care.

Patient care and advice will continue to be provided by Matrons or Case Managers whilst operating the Duty Desk. You will shortly be given the Duty Desk contact number and via this number you can request for your own Matron to contact you in non urgent cases. If you have an urgent need and your own Matron is on duty and available she will still be able to visit you. This system will allow us to be more responsive at times when Matrons are on holiday or other leave to continue to provide a quality service.

It is pleasing to know that you identify benefits due to receiving the Community Matron Service. As the service develops we hope to improve the care and support provided to our patients. Already the service has expanded its hours to cover 8am-6pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays at present) to provide more support for the patients who are referred to the Community Matrons.

I hope that you feel reassured that the service you currently appreciate will continue to provide support and care when you need it most.

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