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Challenge: Improving perceptions of working in the community

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We know that community health services are the glue that link together the acute and primary care sectors. They are an important part of the healthcare system: they can prevent hospital admissions and GP visits, reduce delays in patient discharge and improve patients’ experiences.

The NHS Long Term Plan recognises the importance of community health services. It makes clear that illness should be treated, where possible, in or close to home and that when people no longer need to be in a hospital bed, they should receive good health and social care support to go home.

To deliver this vision we need to ensure that members of the community health workforce receive the support they need to carry out their jobs successfully.

However, we also know that community health services could be better understood, integrated and valued by others, and that these issues have an impact on a professional’s decision to work in the community.

We want to hear your views on what working in the community is like and what we could do to encourage more people to want to work in this area. In particular:

 

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of working in the community as opposed to other settings?
  • What can be done to encourage more staff to want to work in community settings?
  • What would improve your day-to-day life working in the community?

 

Tell us your thoughts and experiences by submitting an idea below.

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When you work in the community you work more holistically in partnership with the patient. Your advocacy skills increase as your skills in this domain of care increase. You become a stronger clinician. Working in the community is not for the faint hearted. Prevention rather than cure is the aim, you become an expert teacher. Passing on your skills and learning new ones with your patients. Community is the way forward, it’s all pro’s no cons for me. I luv it. You learn to cross boundaries and...

Janice Churm
by Janice Churm
Comments 1
Janice Churm

Pros: autonomous working; flexibility; luxury of time with our patients; less pressure than acute sector; variety of cases/age ranges; ability to be able to keep patients on longer if required; longer working relationships with patients/families/relatives; ability to pick up on issues before they have escalated as see patient in own home; seeing how patient manages in own environment. Cons: lone working; having to return to office to complete notes; difficulty parking on return wasting...

Occupational Therapist
by Occupational Therapist
Comments 3
Occupational Therapist
Idea thumbnail

Community is where the real action is! It's a great place to be right now if you want to think big and brave! We are currently running a pilot in Bradford called 'ACE'-the 'Ambulatory Care Experience', a  name chosen by our community nurses who have a passion for this work.   ACE provides an alternative to a hospital referral or admission for children and young people (CYP) with common acute illnesses like asthma, gastroenteritis, croup, bronchiolitis and neonatal jaundice. CYP are...

Mat Mathai
by Mat Mathai
Comments 1
Mat Mathai

Greater freedom and flexibility and family friendly working or pros. As are the patient home visits that puts healthcare in a different perspective from the clinical area setting. The biggest disadvantage for me is the bureaucracy and the amount of time spent on a computer.  

Pharmacist
by Pharmacist
Comments 2
Pharmacist

Working as a nurse in the community is invigorating because you are not closed within  four walls and you get to work more autonomously. It takes a bit of patience to become competent in all the skills a District Nurse requires but once you have them, you are trusted to make on the spot decisions about peoples care and you can make significant improvements to improving peoples lives . You get to problem solve, provide holistic care and work with a variety of people. By working closely with...

emma Thatcher
by emma Thatcher
Comments 1
emma Thatcher

Advantages - it's an absolute privilege to be working in someone's home, regularly and one to one. The professional relationship you develop with that patient is so much more than in a ward setting.  The hours are better which suit a family/work balance.  Working autonomously means you can develop self confidence and knowledge in a different way but you need the correct support to do this. The autonomous working can give you a feeling of more control over your working day that can be very...

Suffolknurse
by Suffolknurse
Comments 1
Suffolknurse

Adantages: utilise all skills, autonomous working, having to think on your feet, able to keep own diary and manage own time, see wide range of socio economic groups, not always in same place of work so prevents boredom factor, seeing pt in their own environment, getting to know family/carers, wide range of clinical presentations, potentially able to have more time with a patient, time constraints potentially not so tight as on a ward environment Disadvantages - having to use own car, not...

Claire Coates
by Claire Coates
Comments 1
Claire Coates

Many and various!

Anne Murphy
by Anne Murphy
Comments 1
Anne Murphy
Idea thumbnail

See flyers attached !

Catrin
by Catrin
Comments 3
Catrin
by
Catrin

Advantages: reasonable working hours, more autonomy than hospital environment, mixture of independent and team work, daylight and fresh air everyday, one on one with patients. Disadvantages: lone working (sometimes), wear and tear on your car, mileage allowance is sometimes low, you get wet when it rains. 

Hannah Beyer
by Hannah Beyer
Comments 1
Hannah Beyer
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