Centre for Ageing and Biographical Studies Public Seminar Series 2021-22: 'Behind Closed Doors' – nursing older adults in the home and community
The Open University’s Centre for Ageing and Biographical Studies (CABS) co-ordinated this public seminar on ‘Nursing older adults in the home and community’. It was chaired by Dr Emma Stevens (The Open University/ CABS) and the presentation was delivered by Dr Crystal Oldman CBE (Chief Executive of the Queen’s Nursing Institute).
Dr Oldman explored the current context of health and care needs within the context of an ageing population. This included identifying that a large proportion of older adults live independent lives, yet a proportion of older people may have more complex health needs, leading to increased demands for NHS services.
Nursing was identified as a ‘safety critical’ profession. Community nursing is a specific type of nursing that encompasses roles such as: care home nursing, general practice nursing and district nursing. Focusing more specifically on district nursing, the complex nature of this work was noted. District nurses deliver a range of personalised care and are experts in delivering care to older people in their own homes.
Although there were over 15,000 district nurses on the NMC register in 2021, numbers have been slowly declining. Workforce plans are essential to ensure sufficient staffing to maintain high quality care, particularly in community nursing, where retention can be problematic and ageing staff may be approaching retirement age. A number of ‘red lines’ were identified for district nursing standards, which included that high staff turnover and high sickness should be considered a red flag for patient safety and system resilience.
The Queens Nursing Institute (QNI) is a member of the International Council of Nurses and is a member of the ICN Advanced Practice group with a focus on primary care in developing countries. This facilities learning more about how nursing services are delivered to international communities and can offer strength when working as a collective. The QNI believe that people leading and managing services in the community may need increased support as they progress through their careers so they have developed an executive nurse and aspiring leaders programme to enhance nurses skills and knowledge.
They also produce and influence policy through their partnership work and produce a range of resources and publications, demonstrating their leadership of community nursing services through innovation.
- CABS Research Group