Almost half of community children’s nursing teams have to refuse referrals at times due to problems with capacity within the team.
Common reasons given across those refusing referrals include recruitment and retention issues, lack of available colleagues, and staff being allocated to home visits.
The finding comes from a Queen’s Nursing Institute survey of 348 community children’s nurses from across the UK, used to help inform the development of the institute’s new voluntary standards for community children’s nurses.
Just over 60% of respondents claimed that they did not hold the NMC recordable qualification in community children’s nursing, although many of these had built up experience working in children’s nursing, and only 50% claimed that their employer provided support for them to take the specialist qualification at university.
Respondents came from a variety of settings, including GP surgeries, with the primary place of work for the majority being hospitals.
The voluntary standards created using some of the information from the survey aim to make clear the expectations of a community children’s nurse, as well as support education and development of nurses working within the setting.