How Do Community Nurse Home Visits Work?

A District Community Nurse Service is provided throughout East Berkshire to help adult patients receive care at home and minimise the amount of time spent in hospital, helping them to keep their independence.


Who’s entitled to the service?


If you are housebound and unable to see your GP or get to your surgery, you may need the services of a community nurse. Housebound patients are those who are either permanently or temporarily confined to their homes due to illness or disability and unable to get to a surgery, clinic or hospital for the treatment. If your condition improves and you are no longer housebound, you will be asked to continue with the remainder of your treatment at the appropriate medical facility (GP surgery, hospital, or clinic).


You also need to be registered at a GP surgery in East Berkshire and have specific nursing needs. These usually include chronic illnesses such as diabetes or conditions such as pressure ulcers, post-operation wounds or incontinence. Community nurses also provide palliative care, to make sure the end of a patient’s life is made as comfortable as possible for them.


What happens during the visit?


While a community nurse is at a patient’s home, they will provide a full assessment of their health needs and talk to them about what they can do to look after themselves to achieve the best possible quality of life. Standard assessments involve asking questions, taking blood pressure, and agreeing a care and treatment plan. This assessment is left at the patient’s home for other nurses to access when they visit. They will also administer any medication, or, where appropriate, show the patient how they can administer their medication themselves. They will also bring any specialist nursing equipment they need with them, such as syringes, drips, dressings and mobility aids.


How often Do They Come?


Visiting times differ according to the individual needs of each patient. The nurses will try to be flexible, but it is not possible to give specific appointment times. It is very important that if you are unable to attend a scheduled appointment that you let your nurse know and similarly, if you find yourself able to go out for treatment.


How Can I Prepare for visits?


Patients are asked to supply liquid soap and paper towels to help prevent the spread of infection. It is also important that any pets are kept away from treatment and under control. Sometimes, it may be necessary to change the layout of the treatment area, by moving certain items of furniture so treatment can be administered in the most comfortable way for patients.


What are the other benefits?


District Community Nurses work with a number of other organisations including hospitals, social services and voluntary organisations to ensure patients receive the best level of care. They also work closely with carers and family members by offering assessment and support.


East Berkshire’s District Nursing Service is available 7 days a week from:

  • Monday to Friday  09:00 – 23:00
  • Saturday and Sunday 08:00 – 23:00

If you or a family member think you require community nurse home visits, please call: 0844 406 0979

Outside of these hours, please call: 111.