October 3, 2008

Community Matrons Are Prepared for Action ; Your NHS in Northumberland

READY for action - that's Northumberland's team of 28 community matrons who specialise in looking after housebound patients with long-term illnesses.

The team - part of the County's district nursing service - work with patients, carers, doctors and other agencies to help people live at home and manage their chronic condition.

They have been recruited by Northumberland Care Trust to meet the Government target of 3,000 community matrons across the country by 2008.

And they are all experienced, senior nurses who can act as a "case manager" and single point of contact for care, support and advice for patients and their carers.

This means many people with illnesses such as respiratory or cardiac conditions can stay at home and be monitored so that changes in their symptoms can be treated immediately and unnecessary admissions to hospital avoided.

Each part of the county now has its own community matron leading a team of district nurses to cover the area and, along with their colleagues in the out-of-hours service, providing round the clock care.

Vivienne Braithwaite, the care trust's senior manager for district nursing/professional lead for nursing, said: "The care trust has now met its target of recruiting 28 community matrons to meet government requirements.

"This is good news for all patients with severe long-term conditions or a complex range of conditions, who need specialist help to live at home.

"Our community matrons have years of experience and training which enables them to interpret test results, prescribe and recognise and treat changes in a patient's condition to prevent an emergency."

For information about the community matrons and the district nursing teams, tel: (01670) 394400 for copies of leaflets about the service.

"This is good news for all patients who need specialist help to live at home

(c) 2008 The Journal - Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.