STRUCTURE: A major re-organisation of community nursing in East Kent has seen district nursing teams aligned with GP practices.

The move involved the creation of smaller district nursing teams, a £1.5m investment in frontline nursing staff, and more district nurses based at GP surgeries.

It is the result of a community nursing strategy devised by NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent and local GPs, working with the Eastern and Coastal Kent Community Health Trust.

Ruth Brown, lead commissioner for community services at NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent, said: “To get more effective and better quality community nursing outcomes, nurses and GPs needed to work together more closely.

“Over the years, district nursing teams had moved away from working with GP practices, often ending up based in larger locality teams.

“The result was nurses were not in very good contact with GPs.”

The reconfiguration, which began last summer, involved creating smaller primary care nursing teams aligned to one or more specific GP practices. In addition, the community matron service was aligned with the new teams, with a designated matron covering several teams.

Ms Brown said it was still early days but the move had already led to more “shared working” between district nurses and community matrons.