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Monday, 24 July 2006 10:27
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Fears for nursing skills in the community
Ministers in Scotland are proposing to abolish the distinct roles of district nurses and health visitors, leading to fears that thousands of patients will not receive the specialist care they need.

The plans, outlined in a draft report, follow a major review of the community health sector for the health minister, Andy Kerr, under the plans, the extensive range of titles currently used by more than 8000 NHS nurses who work outwith hospitals would merge into one new "community health" job.

But nurses' representatives fear the plans would lead to a dilution of professional skills. Gavin Fergie, professional officer of the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association, said it would be like asking a chemistry teacher to teach French.

He said: "We doubt the ability of these proposed community nurses to cover the full clinical range found in community nursing. Thousands of Scottish families won't necessarily get the nursing specialist they need for a particular problem".

Anne Thomson, acting deputy director of the Royal College of Nursing in Scotland, said: "We would clearly have concerns about such a radical change. We will be consulting widely with our members and working closely with the Scottish Executive to implement the outcomes”.
   


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