NHS needs to invest in increasing specialists´nurses

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has joined forces with almost 40 of the UK's leading health organisations to warn that cutting specialist nurse services for people with long term conditions would be a "false economy", as they began a campaign for guaranteed access to specialist nursing care for all patients with long term conditions.

Photo: NHS needs to invest in increasing specialists´nurses

Specialist nurse posts save millions of pounds from health budgets through reduced complications, fewer hospital re-admissions and the expert long term management of conditions. They also provide many patients and families with a lifeline which no other service can offer.

Ahead of the general election, the RCN is calling for every patient with a long term condition to have guaranteed access to specialist nursing care. In Wales, the RCN has campaigned for more specialist nurses as a part of its Get it Right campaign. RCN Wales is asking the Welsh Assembly Government to increase the number of specialist nurses, nurse practitioners and nurse consultants in Wales. The potential for advances and specialists nursing roles should be mainstreamed into consideration during service planning.

Tina Donnelly, Director of the Royal College of Nursing in Wales, said: "When surveyed by the RCN, advanced and specialist nurses were virtually unanimous that their professional judgement is respected by nursing colleagues (94%), and by other health care staff (93%). But although their judgement is respected, their role may not be understood - 23% of those who make referrals, have had them refused because they are a nurse rather than a doctor. Similarly a third (33%) who orders investigations had been refused on the same grounds.

"Advanced and Specialist Nurses make a difference to patients lives and have a beneficial impact on the health service they work in. The roles bring many benefits to patients including continuity of care, access to expertise, improved clinical outcomes, and an excellent relationship between patient and healthcare professional. Another area of benefit is the accessibility and completeness of the services provided. Patients are able to access the services quickly and because nurses have the authority to act, they are often diagnosed and treated more quickly than would other wise have been the case, receiving a 'whole package of care' rather than having to be referred on. Patients thus spend less time on a waiting list and in many cases have longer appointments with a health professional with which they have a relationship of trust."

Dr. Dai Lloyd AM and GP, said: "The RCN in Wales is absolutely correct and I support their efforts to increase the number of specialists'nurses. We need more specialists' nurses in every discipline, including neuromuscular diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease and rheumatoid arthritis. These nurses offer very specific care that benefits patients and their families and improves the patient's quality of life. If a patient is experiencing a low level low tech problem regarding their chronic disease, the specialist nurse is often the one who can provide a solution because they are aware of the specifics of the disease."


Organisations who have signed up to the RCN's policy recommendations include the Parkinson's Disease Society, Macmillan Cancer Support, Epilepsy Action, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Terrence Higgins Trust, MS Society and The Roy Castle Lung Cancer foundation.

Royal College of Nursing

Pic by tokamuwi


More on the subject:
Read all latest stories

Related articles


Article • Regulatory challenges for AI-based diagnostics

Further IVDR changes: a step in the right direction, but…

New changes made to the timetable for the In vitro Diagnostic Medical Device Regulation (IVDR) across Europe could have a significant impact on manufacturers and users, an expert points out. While…


News • Resources on ICD devices

Medical videos on YouTube often provide incomplete information, study finds

Patients looking for infos on implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) should not rely on YouTube videos, as quality content on the topic is few and far between, according to new research.


News • Not just for bitcoin

Blockchain can secure and store genomes

Blockchain is a digital technology that allows a secure and decentralized record of transactions. Now, researchers leveraged blockchain to give individuals control of their own genomes.

Related products

KABE Labortechnik – Consumables for blood gas analysis

Blood Gases /Electrolytes /Oximetry

KABE Labortechnik – Consumables for blood gas analysis

Siemens Healthineers – Luminos Impulse

Flatpanel Fluoro

Siemens Healthineers – Luminos Impulse

Siemens Healthineers
Siemens Healthineers – RapidPoint 500e Blood Gas System

Blood Gases, Electrolytes, Oximetry

Siemens Healthineers – RapidPoint 500e Blood Gas System

Siemens Healthineers
Swissray - Cortex Protection Software

Utilities / Add-ons

Swissray - Cortex Protection Software

Swissray Technologies AG
Subscribe to Newsletter