Rarely are we asked to deal with actions against District Nurses. They tend to be highly skilled and fiercely independent clinical specialists. They also tend to have strong support networks so if they have a problem it is easily picked up. However, like many aspects of modern medicine, things are changing. The specialism of remote or district nursing has been largely effected by the impostion of targets and the need to get to grips with acute levels of staff shortages. Many patients now exit full time hospital care where once they would have been dealt with on the ward and this leads to an earlier discharge than might otherwise have been the case.
The district nurses often find themselves dealing with a large community of patients many of whom just a few years ago would not have been released. The needs of this group vary, however, some of them need very serious care and the time necessary to give it is just not at the nurses disposal. This can lead to things getting missed and symptoms that should be warning signs of more serious injury or infection just getting ignored or misinterpreted. The outcome for the patients can be catastrophic.
It is important to remember that every clinician has the right and the duty to raise the flag if things are going wrong or if patients are suffering because of poor practice. If you have suffered negligence, no matter who is at fault it is then you should bring an action. If you do not do this then the system will likely go on ignoring the issues and continuing to bring the wrong answers to 21st Century medicine.
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