Meeting patients' needs

GARETH Jones raised concerns about district nurses in rural GP practices in the Weston Mercury of November 3. District nurses and health visitors provide services to local people. Some of the teams which are attached to local GP practices are small, made

GARETH Jones raised concerns about district nurses in rural GP practices in the Weston Mercury of November 3. District nurses and health visitors provide services to local people. Some of the teams which are attached to local GP practices are small, made up of two or three nurses. This makes flexible cover difficult, for annual, sickness and study leave and when there are high levels of demand on the service. The primary care trust (PCT) is looking at how we can effectively organise the service to best meet the needs of the most vulnerable people within our villages and towns.I would like to re-assure readers that we are not taking nurses away from rural areas, but rather to organise services in the best possible way to meet people's needs. Where teams come together, nurses will still be linked to individual practices and visit people in their own homes. The re-organisation of these services will enable the PCT to create new roles of Community Matrons, who will support and actively work with those people who have the most complex heath and social care needs.The PCT is committed to maintaining strong and effective communication with all the people who care for patients, including local GPs. The proposed changes give patients the skills and expertise of a wider range of professionals who will have specialist knowledge of helping them with their illnesses and disabilities.I do acknowledge that we need to do more to talk these changes over with GPs and local people. We will be arranging meetings to do this in the near future - before any changes are made.CHRIS BORNChief Executive North Somerset PCT


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