District Nurses and the CPHVA

District nurses – an invisible workforce" was published last month by the QNI and ENB. It outlined how the workforce which enables the NHS to function as smoothly as it does has failed so far to make the impression on the political or management agenda as befits it’s importance. District nurses are a vital part of The NHS today , yet many spoke of feeling like a sponge to new work, absorbing the new initiatives that had come along. . District nurses are carrying out more acute care, increasing roles in triaging or extended community roles, more involvement in cancer care and many new roles without new funding or the recognition to go with it.

District Nurses need a strong and decisive voice that can speak up on their behalf - a professional association that combines a deep understanding of the clinical issues involved, but with enough clout to make itself heard when it comes to negotiating pay and conditions.

The Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association is such an organisation. It is in the unique position of representing all nurses in primary care, and realised at an early stage that the new NHS Plan and the individual healthcare plans for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland meant new opportunities for district nurses. Devolution has implications for district nurses, particularly in the most rural parts of the UK where they can feel isolated.

So how CPHVA can help you successfully tackle the challenges of the new millennium?

The CPHVA has vigorously raised with the Pay Review Body, the abuse of the clinical grading criteria relating to district nurses’ pay. District nurses, who are qualified to an equivalent level as health visitors, have seen their grading change dramatically. This has been driven by cost cutting, resulting in the number G grade district nurses dropping sharply recently. This has been very demoralising.

The CPHVA is the UK’s premier campaigning organisation for community nurses and is running two important campaigns

  • Deals on Wheels has made real progress in its bid for community nurses to have a better deal when they use their cars on NHS business. This is particularly relevant for district nurses who cover thousands of miles annually for work

  • Make IT Happen is aimed ensuring the IT revolution does not bypass our members – that employers meet the government’s targets

The CPHVA stages its own annual conference, tailor-made to address the concerns of the profession. It aims to become a key forum for district nurses to network with other community practitioner specialists.

The CPHVA is a democratic organisation, giving its members a voice in policy formulation at

local, regional and national levels.

Joining the CPHVA is a financial commitment. And you may ask: "What’s in it for me?"

The answer is a package of advice and benefits which greatly assists CPHVA members in the provision of a high quality service for clients, and which also promotes their own career goal.

What The CPHVA are doing for district nurses

The CPHVA are running a series of Conferences this year for District Nurses. The

Dates Scotland Friday 27/9.02 Ireland Friday 18/10.02.

Wales Friday 29/11/02 London Friday 6/12/02

The North East of England Friday 24/01/03

The conferences titled District nursing -putting people first.

Will be an idea opportunity to hear about the future of District nursing and network with other District Nurses in your area.

The CPHVA has a Supplement for District Nurses in the June edition of The Community Practitioner. This will include an introduction to The QNI framework for District Nurses, a report on the Cancer networks for palliative care and how District Nurses are involved in this. The Community Practitioner will be featuring a series of articles of interest to District Nurses in the next few months.

The Supplement for District Nurses will be available at the conferences. For details of the conferences contact The conference office CPHVA on 0207 939 7052 or 0207 939 7045

Professional Officer, CPHVA
Tel. 0207 939 7047
Mobile - 0776 891 3311