Trusts that lag behind in providing modern IT for community nurses will be named and shamed by the nurses’ union, the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA) as part of its Making IT Happen campaign.
A survey of local representatives is being carried out to find out how many community nurses are linked up to the basic e-mail, browsing and directory services due to be in place by the end of March.
Previous research suggests that a large shortfall will be revealed in many parts of the country. According to the CPHVA, a recent survey showed that 30% of members had no computer access at work and 80% of those with access had to share a terminal with, on average, seven others.
The association’s director, Jackie Carnell, commented, “The feedback we have received so far suggests that progress across the country is patchy. Unfortunately many of our members aren’t fully benefiting from the IT revolution.
”And this has a knock-on effect in terms of being able to keep up to date with the latest information that could benefit clients and being able to communicate quickly and easily with colleagues.”
Head of labour relations, Barrie Brown, said, “We intend to ‘name and shame’ those trusts that have failed to meet the latest deadline, less than two months away, and we will be sending this list to health secretary Alan Milburn and the respective health ministers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”
He promised that good news would be highlighted in trusts that have adopted best practice. CPHVA members are convinced that modern IT can deliver better care – a recent association survey revealed that 70% of health visitors and school nurses would “significantly improve” their service to clients if they had full access to the NHS IT revolution.