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Nurse case management and general practice: commissioning implications for GP consortia

By Steve Iliffe, Vari Drennan, Jill Manthorpe, Heather Gage, Sue L. Davies, Helen Masey, Cherill Scott, Sally Brearley and Claire Goodman

Abstract

Background: Case management is widely promoted as a means of ensuring continuity of care, improving patient outcomes, and achieving efficient management of resources. Community matrons have been introduced recently as specialists in the case management of patients with multiple complex problems. Aim: To understand how nurse case managers are seen by GPs and NHS managers. Setting: (1) Telephone interviews with 41 community nurse managers recruited from 10 English strategic health authorities and two Welsh health boards; (2) face-to-face interviews with 12 nurse case managers, 12 GPs and five NHS community service managers in three study sites with different population and practitioner characteristics. Method: Semi-structured individual interviews, by telephone or face to face. Results: Attitudes among GPs to nurse case managers were shaped by perceptions of the quality of community nursing on the one hand and the perceived benefit of case management as a method of reducing hospital use on the other. The dominant mood was scepticism about the ability of nurse case managers to reduce hospital admissions. Community matrons were seen as staff who were imposed on local health services, sometimes to detrimental effect. Conclusion: The introduction of case management and community matrons may disrupt existing communities of practice and be perceived negatively, at least in areas where good working relationships between nurses and GPs have developed. Commissioners should be aware of the potential resistance to changes in skill mix and role in nursing services, and promote innovation in ways that minimise disruption to functional communities of practice

Topics: RT
Publisher: Royal College of General Practitioners
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:gala.gre.ac.uk:5613
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