Investment in community matron service development is an important feature of health policy in the UK, and underpins a national strategy to improve care for people with long-term conditions. These new services are under pressure to demonstrate added value in terms of patient experience and a reduction in unplanned hospital bed usage. The focus of this article is an evaluation of community matron services in a large primary care trust. The results of this city-wide service evaluation demonstrated high levels of patient and general practitioner (GP) satisfaction with community matron services. The themes identified by patients and GPs included improved communications and co-ordination of services. In addition to this, patients and carers commented on increased levels of confidence as a result of responsive and accessible services, as well as a perception that there was a reduction in unnecessary hospital admissions.
Yvonne Leighton, Angie Clegg, Alan Bee