So, my next placement is with a community matron in my area, and much like the rest of the country’s population I thought: what on earth do they do?
So as part of my prep for the placement I went to find out.
What do they do?
The position was originally created in 2004 as a way to bridge the gap between primary care, community services and hospitals (Department of Health, 2004; NHS England, 2014). They are responsible for looking after high-risk patients with long term health conditions and helping to meet their needs in the community rather than in hospitals, reducing admissions and the need for GP visits. The matrons are involved in assessing the needs of their patients, liaising with their GP and primary care teams to create a personalised plan of care (Department of Health, 2004; Ross, Curry and Goodwin, 2011). They are often involved with those patients who fall through the gaps in a significantly overstretched NHS, helping empower the patient to understand more about their health conditions and how they can improve their own independence and confidence (Dossa, 2010). Matrons can be involved in medicine management, either by having their own qualifications or by getting medication reviews from a GP (Ross, Curry and Goodwin, 2011).
Community matrons are also a more personalised contact rather than going through their GP or local A&E, creating a valuable support system with someone who knows them well. Feedback for the matrons in Coventry showed not only high levels of patient and carer satisfaction but also a 67% decrease in hospital admissions, saving £14,792 (Downes, 2009).
Who do they care for?
Their patients are often older people who have several long-term health problems or comorbidies, associated with high use of GP and hospital services. They also tend to stay in hospital longer (Department of Health, 2004).
Goes without saying, a nursing qualification
Excellent clinical skills
Communication and listening skills
Leadership and management
Often need post graduate requirements eg. independent prescribing (Community matron, 2018)
What’s in their future?
The Five Year Forward View spoke heavily about improving investment in community services so that more patients can be treated in their own homes rather than hospital. Community matrons will be directly involved in this, increasing networks of care in the community (NHS England, 2014).
Community matron (2018) National Careers Service. Available at: https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/community-matron (Accessed: 5 October 2018).
Department of Health (2004) Putting People at the Heart of Public Services. Available at: http://1nj5ms2lli5hdggbe3mm7ms5.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/files/2010/03/pnsuk3.pdf (Accessed: 5 October 2018).
Dossa, N. (2010) ‘Exploring the role of the community matron’, British Journal of Community Nursing, 15(1), pp. 23–27. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2010.15.1.45780.
Downes, C. (2009) ‘Developing a community matron service:a neighbourhood model’, Nursing Standard, 23(44), pp. 35–38. doi: 10.7748/ns.23.44.35.s50.
NHS England (2014) ‘Five Year Forward View’. Available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/5yfv-web.pdf (Accessed: 5 December 2017).
Ross, S., Curry, N. and Goodwin, N. (2011) Case management: What it is and how it can best be implemented. Available at: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/default/files/Case-Management-paper-The-Kings-Fund-Paper-November-2011_0.pdf (Accessed: 5 October 2018).