Plans to recruit 3,000 “community matrons” to look after people
with multiple long-term conditions could be undermined by a lack of
qualified nursing staff.
Paul Corry, head of policy and campaigns at mental health charity
Rethink, questioned whether there were enough suitable workers
available to fill the proposed posts.
“If community matrons are going to be recruited, trained and
retained, that will be great news. But we have been here before,”
Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Paul Burstow also said there
was a shortage of district nurses, from which community matrons
would be drawn.
However, the Alzheimer’s Society welcomed the role as one that
could provide service users with more information and support about
their condition and help raise the profile of long-term conditions
among health professionals.
Health secretary John Reid said community matrons, of whom there
are just 129 at the moment, would be the main point of contact for
the 250,000 people suffering with complex long-term care
The idea for community matrons came out of the government’s Big
Conversation policy consultation.