Government cutbacks on NHS staff have been felt heavily by qualified nurses looking to obtain positions within the health service. However, new independent research carried out with the elderly may hold out a ray of hope for frustrated and skilled nurses who are currently out of the employment loop.
The independent research was conducted during November by TNS face to face services on behalf of Consultus Care & Nursing Agency, among adults aged 75 and over. The results have revealed an overwhelmingly strong preference for live-in nursing: 88% (of adults aged 75 and over) preferring to receive long-term nursing care at home compared to 7% who would prefer a nursing home. At a time when nurses who have been let down by government overspending are in need of opportunities to utilise their skills, this is encouraging news.
The research also raises questions pertaining to the plight of the elderly, many of whom are currently forced into nursing homes without other options being made available to them. In this sense, perhaps the results of the research are an answer to both a current political and social dilemma being faced in the UK – by nurses and the elderly themselves. This obvious demand for live-in nursing care would also ensure that at least some of the estimated 600 million spent on health care training by the government in 2005 is not wasted: Consultus giving well-trained staff an opportunity to build on their skills rather than nurses choosing alternative career paths.
The research, which is the first of its kind, has underlined the strong views held by the elderly about where they choose to be nursed. Paradoxically at a time when Trusts hit worst by the NHS budget crisis are cutting back on nurses, there is a real demand for live-in nurses. These skilled health care workers are able to give clients the 24/7 nursing care that they clearly want, whilst a choice of working weeks enables more nurses to remain in the profession that they have chosen. The reality is that live-in nursing can provide an economical solution to both patients and nurses.
- After a spell in hospital 91% said they would prefer to convalesce in their own home compared with 1% who would choose a hospital ward. - 87% agreed that live-in nursing should be more readily available through the NHS and 89% agreed that more information should be made available. The possibility of going into a nursing home concerned most people with over a third feeling very concerned.