Community and district nursing services

(Report published)

The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee is holding an inquiry into the activity of district nurse-led community nursing teams and the quality of nursing care provided to people in their own homes.

This short inquiry will provide an opportunity to understand more about the data gaps, the impact this might have on workforce planning, and the extent to which there is a strategy for community nursing services which is aligned with the direction of travel for health and social care as described in A Healthier Wales.


District nurse-led community nursing services deliver care in patients’ homes. This can support individuals and their families to manage their health, avoid unnecessary hospital admissions, enable early discharge, and help maintain independence. These services are likely to become an increasingly important part of the NHS workforce, given the policy shift in care from hospitals to community settings, and the increasing healthcare needs of an ageing population and those with chronic conditions.

Despite the recognised contribution district nurse-led community nursing teams could make to the future delivery of healthcare, little is known about this ‘invisible’ service. There is no accurate picture – at national level - of the number and skill mix of nursing teams, nor of the numbers and acuity level of patients receiving care in their own homes. This is likely to have an impact on the effectiveness of workforce planning. It’s not clear how community nursing teams’ activity is measured and reported, or what performance or outcomes measures are used to monitor the quality and safety of these services. There is also a lack of information about children’s nurses working in the community (district nursing is an adult-focused service).

Evidence sessions


Evidence session

Date, Agenda and Minutes



1. Royal College of Nursing Wales

Lisa Turnbull, Policy and Public Affairs Advisor, Royal College of Nursing Wales

Sue Thomas, Primary and Community Care Advisor, Royal College of Nursing Wales

Anwen Jenkins, Senior District Nurse and Royal College of Nursing member

21 March 2019

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2. Representatives of Local Health Boards

Rhiannon Jones, Director of Nursing, Powys Teaching Health Board

Lesley Lewis, Head of Nursing Primary Care and Localities, Cwm Taf University Health Board

Jo Webber, Head of Nursing for Primary and Community Division, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

21 March 2019

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3. Welsh Government

Dr Andrew Goodall, Director General for Health and Social Services / NHS Wales Chief Executive, Welsh Government

Professor Jean White, Chief Nursing Officer and Nurse Director of NHS Wales, Welsh Government

Paul Labourne, Nursing Officer, Primary and Integrated Care, Welsh Government

21 March 2019

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Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: For consideration

First published: 08/02/2019





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