According to charity research, there are more elderly patients being hospitalized and readmitted to hospitals due to the shortage of district and community nurses.
As we all know, the elderly population has an increased need for healthcare. Unfortunately, many elderly individuals are not receiving the care they need due to a lack of community care. It is where district nurses come in – they provide essential support to individuals in their homes, allowing them to remain independent and maintain their overall health and well-being.
In this blog, we will explore the importance of district nurses and the impact a lack of community care has on the health of older people. A study on the State of Health and Care of Older People in England was released in the second week of July in which Age UK, an older adults non-profit organization, urged changes to how older people are cared for.
The research made the case that, to help older people maintain their physical and mental health in their homes and care facilities, an excessive dependence on acute hospital-based treatment needs to be replaced with an emphasis on prevention and early intervention.
According to the charity’s analysis, fewer older people’s hospital admissions may be avoided if they received assistance sooner. It suggested that with the proper care provided at the right time, 855,000 emergency hospital admissions of older persons may have been prevented in 2019-20.
Further, as per the research, the reason for these alarming statistics is that older individuals have difficulty getting the assistance they require from community and social care agencies since there aren’t enough staff members.
In addition, it is anticipated that any increase in the number of nurses has been heavily tilted towards acute care, with 16% more adult nurses working in the community compared to just 7% more adult nurses working in acute care between 2016-2017 and 2021-22. The statement also noted that the number of district nurses has consistently decreased during that time.
The report states that hospitals may need to delay patient discharges in addition to experiencing an increase in admissions and readmissions if not enough district and community nurses are available. Age UK termed the nursing shortage a “vicious cycle” in attracting new community and district nurses and keeping them on staff.
According to the research, there was a growing “demand-capacity gap” because of the increased pressure understaffing was putting on the district nursing workforce and driving more nurses out of the field.
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In addition, the research detailed comparable recruitment and retention challenges that the social care sector was dealing with. It happens at the same time as Skills for Care, an organization, announced last week in an annual report that there are currently 152,000 job openings in adult social care in England.
According to Age UK, which reiterated this concern, the vacancy rates for registered nurses, care providers, and managers were all the highest since this data started to be collected. As stated in the article, several registered nurses employed in social services had moved to jobs with better pay and conditions in the NHS.
The charity report stated that, as a result, certain nursing care was no longer offered at care facilities. However, the research noted that these trends can be addressed, but strong political leadership from the government was necessary.
For older people to receive assistance earlier, Age UK urged a significant strategic effort to reverse the decline of primary and community health services and social care. It was claimed that by doing this, they would be able to stay well for longer at home and depend less on hospital emergency rooms. At the same time, it emphasized the necessity of a home-first approach to care.
The development of community falls services, hospital-at-home services, and virtual wards were some of the health and social care areas mentioned in the report as leading the way. Also, the report stated that all these tactics and more are already blending into the mix in some places.
Age UK’s charity director, Caroline Abrahams, stated: “We urgently need an ambitious social care workforce plan that recognizes and appropriately compensates our care employees for their outstanding contributions.
We are aware that we are losing more seasoned care employees, including registered managers in nursing homes, even though recruiting more foreign care workers has been more effective than many of us had anticipated, at least for some care providers.”
Dr. Crystal Oldman, CEO of the Queen’s Nursing Institute, responded to the research by saying: “The Age UK report marshals the evidence to show what barriers are keeping older people in hospitals unnecessarily, and a shortage of district nurses in the community is one of the most significant factors.”
“If we are to achieve the goal of caring for people in their own homes in later life and preventing hospital admissions, we need a district nursing workforce that can support the number of people in need.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said, “We recently published our Next Steps to Put People at the Heart of Care plan, setting out how we are spending up to £700 million on adult social care reform over the next two years to ensure people get the right care at the right time, including $250 million for the workforce.”
The spokesman also mentioned that the government would spend £1.6 billion to support timely and safe discharge from hospitals into the community.
So, are you a community or district nurse? Are you looking to explore new horizons by settling abroad? If that is the case, England is calling you.
Want to know how you can be the one contributing to the care for the elderly population in England? Contact us today. We at Dynamic Health Staff will assist you in landing your desired job. You can also call us at +91-9810017608 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your queries.
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