§ Mr. Hubbard-Miles
asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he is satisfied with the existing provision of community nursing services in Wales; and whether he has any plans to consider their future role and development.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
The community nursing profession (which include midwives, health visitors, community psychiatric, district and school nurses) help to provide a wide range of services in health care outside hospitals in Wales. The dedication and competence of nurses working in the community is of a very high order and I believe that the overall standards of the services they provide are properly well regarded.
In recognition of their contribution to health care it is important that from time to time attention should be given to the future development of existing community nursing services and to their roles and functions. It is some years since community nursing provision was considered in a substantial way and in the interim there have been a number of developments affecting service delivery and practice. I have therefore decided to establish a review of community nursing services in Wales. Its terms of reference will be to:
- (a) examine changes in the pattern of demand for community nursing services;
- (b) identify the future functions of the community nursing services;
- (c) suggest priorities for future developments in order to meet service needs;
- (d) offer recommendations on the future professional role and the relationships of community nurses;
- (e) outline the implications of such developments, especially with regard to education and training.
The review will be an independent one: the accent will be upon providing those working in and responsible for managing community nursing services with the guidance they need to ensure that skills and manpower are deployed to secure the best forms of care from the resources made available. I shall ask that its work will be completed within a two-year period. It will need to work in the closest co-operation with all those professional and other groups that have an interest in sustaining and developing effective service delivery in community nursing. Mrs. Noreen Edwards, the chairman of Gwynedd health authority, has accepted my invitation to chair the review, which will number about eight to 10 people. I shall announce a full list of members for the review team once arrangements for appointments, including consultation with interested bodies, have been completed.