Journal: British journal of community nursing
While there is no proven cure for lipoedema, early detection is key as specialist treatments, complemented by self-management techniques, can improve symptoms and prevent progression. There is no universal approach as the correct treatment or treatments will depend on each patient’s particular circumstances; however, when chosen early and appropriately, interventions can provide huge benefits. The most common treatments in the management of lipoedema include compression, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), tumescent liposuction, intermittent pneumatic compression therapy (IPC), kinesio taping, deep oscillation therapy, and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
As populations rise and many global health policies point towards community care, it is important that health care delivery meets demand. In Ireland, a study was undertaken on the level and context of missed care in community nursing. The study used a survey to identify the quantity of, and reasons for, missed care; a reference group to develop possible health economic implications for missed care, and a small sample of semi-structured interviews to consider the macro-environment within which missed care occurred. This paper presents the findings of the health economics and qualitative data, and the study’s implications for community nursing.
The previous article in this law column considered a patient’s right to give a real consent before a district nurse could proceed with care and treatment. This article considers the district nurse’s rights and responsibilities when considering withdrawing or withholding clinically-assisted nutrition and hydration. It focuses on recent cases in the Court of Protection, M v A Hospital  , and High Court, NHS Trust v Mr Y & Mrs Y  , and on the need to bring such cases to court before treatment is withdrawn.
Oral disease can have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of the housebound patient. The aetiology of oral conditions such as dental caries and periodontal disease have been well investigated and there is a solid evidence base in how to best prevent their progress. The Department of Health document Delivering better oral health: an evidence-based toolkit for prevention is a valuable resource that outlines the current best preventative evidence in the form of practical advice for clinicians and patients. This article aims to distil and present this advice for the benefit of community nurses. It will identify areas of particular importance for people with additional needs, particularly the elderly and infirm. Outlining how to best tailor preventative advice and treatment for this patient group.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe respiratory diseases characterised by airway obstruction. COPD is now an established and significant chronic disease, killing over 30 000 people in the UK every year. According to the World Health Organization, COPD will become the third biggest killer in the world by 2020. The financial and human cost of the disease is huge. To appreciate the pathophysiology of obstructive pulmonary diseases, it is first necessary to understand a number of important lung concepts. This article discusses the pathophysiology of COPD, highlighting the main mechanisms involved, provides an outline of the associated signs, symptoms and treatment of COPD and explore how health care professionals in the community/residential care settings can help manage and improve the quality of life for patients with COPD.
District nurses are increasingly required to manage the physical health needs of patients who misuse substances or have mental health problems. Some patients have a mental health crisis in the community and come to the attention of the police. Concern over the use of police powers to detain people in a mental health crisis and in particular the use police cells as a place of safety has led to changes in the law. In this article the author updates district nurses on the amendments to police powers under the Mental Health Act 1983 introduced by the Policing and Crime Act 2017, part 4 chapter 4 designed to better manage those people experiencing a mental health crisis.
An increasing number of people require insulin to manage their diabetes, many of them in supported environments such as residential care homes. Community nursing teams are likely to have a growing caseload of care home residents who require diabetes care, including insulin injections, and many unregistered practitioners are being asked to take on this role. If community nurse leads, matrons, frailty teams and pharmacy teams work together to provide training to staff in care homes (particularly unregistered practitioners), diabetes care can be improved. This has to be suitable for groups and for people with different levels of understanding, and supported by written resources. Courses are interactive to engage and motivate all learners, and methods of teaching include group work, visual teaching aids and games. Self-assessment around competencies, using a competency framework, not only demonstrates the development of staff but also highlights key areas of diabetes care.
Pioneering advances have been made in Internet of Things technologies (IoT) in healthcare. This article describes the development and testing of a bespoke IoT system for dementia care. Technology integrated health management (TIHM) for dementia is part of the NHS England National Test Bed Programme and has involved trailing the deployment of network enabled devices combined with artificial intelligence to improve outcomes for people with dementia and their carers. TIHM uses machine learning and complex algorithms to detect and predict early signs of ill health. The premise is if changes in a person’s health or routine can be identified early on, support can be targeted at the point of need to prevent the development of more serious complications.
First year student nurses are increasingly undertaking their first placement with community nurses. The importance of how this initial learning experience is introduced by the higher education institution, as well as how the student is welcomed and integrated into the community nursing team, cannot be underestimated. Following positive anonymous feedback from students, which indicated that they had benefitted from the introduction, welcome and integration they experienced, the university and mentors reviewed how this had been done to identify good practice to share with colleagues. Students indicated that their welcome and integration had helped them to feel part of the team and enhanced learning, because they were so well supported, and mentors had facilitated learning experiences by acknowledging that this was their first placement experience. It is notable that mentors were committed to the students' learning and used workplace social capital to optimise the student experience. At a time when retention of students is essential to increase the future workforce, mentors dedicated to student learning are acting as ambassadors for the community workforce, and may well encourage students to have a career in community nursing.
Frailty is a term that presents many difficulties for policy makers and clinicians due to the lack of consensus in defining frailty in a way that meets the needs of older people. A principle-based concept analysis was used to examine the scientific literature across four perspectives: medicine, nursing, social sciences, and occupational and physiotherapy. The purpose was to identify the conceptual components of frailty as revealed by analysis of the literature, and to develop a theoretical definition of frailty. The findings exposed commonalities in implied meanings both within and across perspectives. The strengths of frailty as a concept are revealed in the implications for clinical practice and relevance to health professionals. The limitations reflect a concept that is still evolving and further research is recommended but this should not stop health professionals engaging in this process. The definition developed in this study will enhance existing knowledge and promote a shared understanding to unite different disciplines in recognising frailty as an important concept.