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NHS must focus on home care, says England’s chief nurse

The NHS needs to spend more money looking after people in their own homes rather than in hospital, the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England has urged.
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The NHS needs to spend more money looking after people in their own homes rather than in hospital, the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England has urged.

Jane Cummings said too much cash was being spent caring for patients in ‘old and expensive’ hospitals, rather than in a more efficient domiciliary setting.

In a letter to the Telegraph , professor Cummings said a greater emphasis on home care would result in a service that was better catered to a patient’s individual needs.

She said: ‘With more care provided at home, the NHS can spend more cash on patients rather than maintaining old and expensive buildings.

‘And more people can be better looked after, with care personalised

The NHS needs to spend more money looking after people in their own homes rather than in hospital, the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England has urged.


Jane Cummings says there is a need to change outdated models of care. Picture: David Gee

Jane Cummings said too much cash was being spent caring for patients in ‘old and expensive’ hospitals, rather than in a more efficient domiciliary setting.

In a letter to the Telegraph, professor Cummings said a greater emphasis on home care would result in a service that was better catered to a patient’s individual needs.

She said: ‘With more care provided at home, the NHS can spend more cash on patients rather than maintaining old and expensive buildings.

‘And more people can be better looked after, with care personalised to their needs.’

Controversial but necessary

She said refocusing spending priorities towards domiciliary care would be controversial, but was necessary for the benefit of patients.

In her letter, she said: ‘Whatever the merits of these plans, choices like these will always be controversial because we are talking about changes to strongly-supported services that have served communities well for years.

‘So this is not a moment to sit on our hands, nor to instigate big bang changes. What we need is decisive but well-debated, locally-owned improvements, doing things for which nurses, doctors and other health and care workers have argued for years.’

She said there was a real need to change outdated models of care so that patients ‘don’t fall into the cracks between different parts of the system and ensuring that we provide care based around their needs, and not those of NHS organisations’.


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