Revolution in Long-Term Health Care

Article excerpt

Byline: By Louise Redvers

A new team of health workers is set to revolutionise treatment and care for thousands of North East people.

More than 100 community matrons are being appointed across the region to look after patients with long-term conditions like diabetes, asthma and arthritis.

Their main role will be to improve the quality of life for the 7,000 people living with long-term illness in the North East.

The matrons will give one-to-one support in order to reduce the number of times the most vulnerable patients need emergency hospital visits.

Although the scheme was announced only this week, North Tyneside Primary Care Trust began a pilot project in November with its first community matron, Jean Rochester.

Much of her role will be liaising with GPs, practice nurses, hospitals and social services to make care more patient-centred.

Lyn Dixon, director of nursing at North Tyneside PCT said: "Jean will be going into patients' homes and work with them to promote the best possible way of managing their condition without having to go into hospital. …