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Good practice guidelines aim to show quality in home nursing care

Three-phase mixed methods study in England identifies ways to measure community nursing

Three-phase mixed methods study in England identifies ways to measure community nursing

Nursing in the home needs to be of high quality to be effective, acceptable and support policy intentions.


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While there are many quality indicators (QI) for acute care nursing there is little evidence as to the way community nursing quality is measured and then used by patients, staff, managers, commissioners and the public.

This three-phase mixed methods study in England addressed this issue through a national survey of quality indicators used by clinical commissioning groups, in-depth cases studies in five sites followed by validity testing and development of good practice guidance.

It found that there was a wide variety of QIs mostly focused on organisational processes, developed without nurse or service user input, and often perceived by these groups as lacking in utility. Data collection of the QIs was found to be problematic due to inadequate information technology, including acute sector software, lack of connectivity and incompatibility with other systems.

QIs were found not to reflect aspects of highly valued care by service users, such as time spent, kindness and respect. These findings were endorsed and drafted into good practice guidelines.


Horrocks S, Pollard K, Duncan L et al (2018) Measuring quality in community nursing: a mixed-methods study. Health Serv Deliv Res. 6, 18.  https://doi.org/10.3310/hsdr06180

Compiled by Vari Drennan, professor of healthcare and policy research at Kingston and St. George’s, University of London

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