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Avery Lead Community Nurse Model | Welcome Home Autumn 2018

There is currently a global and national shortage of registered nurses (estimated at around 42,000 in the UK alone), set against increasing demand for their skills as care needs have become more complex, the population is ageing and more preventative approaches are required. 

There is clear evidence that nurses make a difference to quality of care and to achieving positive outcomes for residents. Additionally, the nurse role is changing and they are increasingly leading and directing teams with a wider variety of skills and carrying out more advanced roles.

Traditionally, nurses’ time in care homes has been largely taken up with administering medicines and amending and updating care plans, as well as supervising others and undertaking nursing procedures. This no longer makes best use of nurse skills and given nurse shortages is no longer sustainable.

Spencer House Care Home Nurses Staff

The Avery City & Guilds accredited Advanced Senior Carer Programme is now well established, and provides experienced carers with the opportunity to extend their skills and to help free up nurse time to support residents with more complex needs. This allows us the opportunity to further upskill our nurses, to provide them with an additional career pathway to recognise their unique contribution and to better utilise their skills to benefit our residents.

We are therefore really excited to report that we have completed development of a new Avery nursing model, to be called the Lead Community Nurse (LCN) Model. The new Avery LCN role will have a greater focus on:

  • Clinical leadership over complex care delivery and management of clinical risk
  • Preventative approaches to care, such as prevention of pressure ulcers, falls, infections
  • Teaching and competency development for advanced carers and other care staff
  • Supervision and direction of care
  • Overseeing care planning and prescribing of care practice
  • Delivery of complex care interventions
  • More advanced support for relatives and families
  • Closer liaison and work with the wider community multidisciplinary team
  • Utilising best practice approaches, such as audit to ensure improvements in clinical care
  • Mentorship and preceptorship of students and newly qualified nurses.

Avery Nurses who undertake the LCN Programme will undergo additional training and development of their clinical, risk management and leadership skills. A robust competency framework will ensure an individualised approach to the development of more advanced skills, and there will be a new community of LCN nurses set up to support and share best practice. This new role will be supported by an LCN Clinical Manager in addition to the current Avery support networks and professional teams. Avery nurses in the two pilot sites will be given the opportunity to help shape the LCN role in practice and we look forward to commencing implementation of the new model in January 2019.

Article by Sandra Stark, Director of Care and Quality