People with long-term conditions using Cornwall’s community matrons saw their hospital admissions drop by fifty per cent last year, at a saving of almost a million pounds to the health service.
Helen Lyndon, the county’s lead on community matrons, said the outcomes resulted in Cornwall’s primary care trust agreeing to employ another 18 matrons.
She told healthcare professionals at the Primary Care 2006 conference in Birmingham that besides the cuts in admissions, visits to GP surgeries dropped by 72 per cent and calls for out of hours services by 42 per cent.
However she admitted that it was difficult to isolate the impact of community matrons on the figures and better evidence is needed.
Community matrons are trained nurses whose role is to identify people with the most serious long-term conditions and manage their care, in order to reduce unplanned hospital admissions.