Discuss How Community Nursing Can Enhance the Care Given to Service Users and Their Carers

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In the United Kingdom community care has developed as an extensive political aim for 35 years. It wasn’t until the late 1980’s the change of direction was predisposed by the audit commission in 1986 and then the Griffiths report in 1988. The NHS and community care act was formed within the UK in 1990 (DOH 1990). This enabled local health and social services to take charge over their own budgets, therefore assisting them in becoming the consumer and supplier of care. (Ryan, A. A. et al). This essay will discuss how community nursing can enhance the care given to service users and their carers'. It will discuss key terms such as the community nurse, the population group and how community nursing will enhance their care. Statistics will be used to support the findings. The essay will look into the shift to community care from the hospital and the role of the district nurse within this. This will be supported with political decisions and policies. This essay will discuss the role of the community nurse in providing health promotion for the service users and carers. A description of a carer, their role within the community care services and how a nurse/patient therapeutic relationship can develop and benefit the service user. This essay will also focus on the district nurse as part of the community nursing team. Northern Ireland is an ageing society. Since the early 1930’s those aged over 65 has more than doubled, therefore making a fifth of the population over 60. People over 80 are set to increase by almost half and those over 90 will double by 2025. Older people continue to have a greater need for social care services. As a result most of the social care resources are directed at their needs (DoH, 2001). “Old age and older people” are terms that are used every day and define a particular period in an individual’s lifetime. A definition of old age requires more than a physical outlook; even though “old” can be described as certain physical changes in life. Within society people aging may be considered as becoming more problematic for nurses. However, in reality this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case as older people are defined by the state retirement age of 65 (Pickering and Thompson). This was argued by the DOH 2001 as they stated, societal attitudes have changed in previous years and retirement is now not considered as a preparation for decline. As a result of this, health services have had to adjust their approach to the elderly (DoH, 2001). This population group is important to define as it will be the focus population in this essay. In Northern Ireland those aged between 65 and 80 remain more independent than those aged older, however they do use more Health and Social care services than those of younger age. In addition it is when they are over the age of 80 the demand for these services rapidly increases (DoH, 2001). According to WHO 1974, community is the people of a district or country considered collectively, especially in the context of social values and responsibilities. According to the Royal College of Nursing in 2010 (RCN), the work of a community nurse can be defined as promoting health, healing, growth and development, prevention and treatment of disease, illness, injury and disability to a variety of people. They will enable people to achieve, maintain or recover their independence where possible. They will also minimise distress, while promoting quality of life where independence is not possible (RCN, 2010). The Community Nursing Team is an umbrella term for the team of nurses that work in the community, such as the health visitor, district nurse, community midwife and other specialist nurses such as the diabetic nurse. There are also care managers who assess patients both financially and for their care needs (RCN,2010). Within the community nursing team is the district nurse. The role of the district nurse involves assessing, organising and delivering care to support people living in their own...
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