Community matrons reduce GP visits

Community matrons are able to reduce patients' visits to GPs without compromising their care, new research suggests.

Sue Lillyman from Birmingham City University and colleagues examined patients’ experience of care provided by community matrons. They interviewed 11 patients with long-term conditions who were receiving case management treatment from a community matron.

All but two of the patients said that the number of GP visits they had made had fallen since the introduction of the community matron service. This fall in GP visits had not, however, compromised communication with healthcare professions or the treatment of their condition, the patients said.

Patients said that, when they had to be admitted to hospital for treatment of their long-term conditions, these admissions were more often appropriate and planned than was the case in the past.

Community matrons were seen as having time for patients allowing them to ‘talk and share their concerns in relation to their conditions in their own environment and at their own pace’.

Patients also experienced benefits when community matrons became involved in medicines management and liaised with other healthcare providers, such a GPs and hospital services.

‘The study has identified the value of the role to the patients who took part noting its contribution to their quality of life when living with one or more long-term conditions,’ the researchers commented.

The researchers hope to publish their findings in the near future.

  • Read next week’s Independent Nurse dated 6 April for a full version of this story.

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