Local News
South Norfolk
  NHS cuts could put district nurses in danger, says MP

On Call District Nurses work shifts
from 7am to 7pm and make calls
across a huge area of Norfolk.  They
are accompanied by drivers who
escort nurses to the call and can
also provide basic medical assistance

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon has asked health bosses in four of Norfolk’s Primary Care Trusts to explain why their own health and safety guidelines have been ignored in order to make cuts that could potentially put district nurses in danger while answering out of hours calls.

Currently the District Nurse On Call service (DNOC) responds to out-of-hours calls across the North Norfolk, Broadland, Southern Norfolk and Norwich Primary Care Trust areas. Nurses are accompanied by drivers whose job is to escort nurses to the call and ensure their safety, as well as providing basic medical assistance when needed.

However, Broadland PCT, which manages the service on behalf of the other three trusts, has proposed that the drivers be withdrawn and that nurses work alone.  This proposal scored 20 out of 25 in the Trust’s own general risk assessment, meaning the changes are designated as ‘high risk’.  To implement the changes would therefore mean ignoring the Trust’s own guidance.

Mr Bacon, who recently met with a number of DNOC nurses and drivers, said:

“Under these proposals, nurses will be expected to drive long distances, potentially in foul weather or to dangerous areas.  The drivers offer protection and allow the nurses to concentrate on patient care.  For the Trust to ignore its own guidelines to push through these plans is unbelievable.  It can only increase the risks to nurses”.


30 June 2006

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