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District nursing and GUM services hit by NHS funding crisis

How are district nursing, GUM and hip replacement services coping with financial pressures?

Cuts to NHS funding are affecting patient care in ways that often go unseen, a report by the think tank King’s Fund has said.

The report found community services and prevention were adversely affected, with genito-urinary medicine (GUM) and district nursing under particular strain.

In some areas spending on GUM has been cut by more than 20% in the last three years, with further cuts planned. This has meant fewer clinics and lower staffing levels, which in turn has put the population at greater risk of infection, the report warns.

Pressure on district nursing often caused stress to staff leading to poorer quality of care for some patients.

Also, patients undergoing elective hip replacement remained happy with their procedures but waiting times for operations are on the rise.

The report authors added that plans to strengthen community-based services and focus on prevention as set out in the NHS five year forward view will be difficult to implement in the current climate.

Primary care perspective

  • The King’s Fund has highlighted a lack of detailed data for some services, which is making difficulties for commissioners and primary care staff in planning. The organisation has added that miscalculations in these areas could lead to increased pressures throughout the health economy.

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