Health Education England (HEE) has announced additional funding for district nursing which will support community nurses wishing to undertake the specialist practitioner qualification that will enable them to become district nurses. The £18.5m funding will also support the transition to the District Nursing apprenticeship programme in 2020/21.
In line with the ambitions set out in the Interim people plan, the HEE funding for district nursing will allow community nursing teams to meet the health needs of the communities they serve up and down the country
In a further boost, HEE has confirmed it will be providing further investment from 2021/2022 and beyond to secure the long term future of district nursing teams. It will work closely with nurse leaders to identify how best to allocate funding to support community nursing teams in the delivery of 21st century care.
Speaking to nurse leaders, Mark Radford, Chief Nurse at Health Education England and Deputy Chief Nursing for England said, 'This is fantastic news for patients who we know really value the care they receive from district nurses. It means more people can be cared for in their own homes and we can boost the numbers providing that much needed care.
'We also recognise the important role that district nurses [play] and that is why I am fully committed to providing more investment to secure the future of this vital workforce.
'We are listening to the concerns that have been raised about District Nursing numbers and this is why I am particularly delighted to announce £18.5m to support those nurses who want to pursue their specialist practitioner qualifications.
'There is more to do to raise the profile of the role to improve understanding and we are committed to working closely with key nursing stakeholders including the QNI to do just that.
'HEE is committed to developing our community teams and I look forward to working with all our partners to ensure a bright future.'
Dr Crystal Oldman, Chief Executive of Queens Nursing Institute (QNI) commented on the funding for district nursing, saying, 'The QNI is delighted with the very welcome announcement of the £18.5m which provides community provider organisations in England with the funding required for district nurse training and education in 2020/21.
'To have confirmation of funding both fees and salary support so early in the recruitment cycle will support providers to fill every place for district nurse training and education.
'This is, ultimately, fabulous news for all individuals, carers, families and communities who require the expert skills of the district nursing service to deliver complex care in the home.'
HEE has also confirmed that it will make sure that district nurses receive their proportion of the £150m for CPD, will develop innovative modular skills courses for community and district nurses and will work with partners to develop a comprehensive District Nursing 10 Point Plan.