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3 February 2003

COMMUNITY NURSES SURVEYED ON ‘PATCHY’ COMPUTER USE

Health visitors and community nurses are being asked if there has been any improvement in IT provision in the NHS workplace since 2001.

The Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association is surveying its 18,000 membership to find out what improvements have occurred since its first survey in

June 2001.

The CPHVA’s director, Mark Jones said: ‘Recent feedback we have received from our members is that provision of IT equipment and the necessary training remains patchy, and inconsistent.

‘Community nurses are lagging behind in the health informatics revolution through no fault of their own. It is not unreasonable in the 21st century for busy community nurses to have a computer, access to email and the internet, and the proper training. In the end, it is clients and patients who will benefit from the increased efficiency that this will bring.’

‘One of the recommendations of the Laming Report into the death of Victoria Climbie was to improve the flow and accessibility of information between professionals. A decent IT infrastructure will, no doubt, assist with this.’

The CPHVA’s 2001 survey found that seven out of ten health visitors and school nurses would "significantly" improve their service to clients if they had full access to the NHS health informatics revolution.

It also discovered that four out of five community practitioners who do have computer access at work have to share with, on average, seven other colleagues. A total of 66 per cent of community practitioners were denied access to the internet and 65 per cent were without email.

Mark Jones said: ‘While I expect an improvement in these figures when the survey results are completed in the spring, I think there will still be a long road to travel.’

The CPHVA’s launched its Make IT Happen campaign in 2001 and the results of its first survey have been much quoted.

 

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NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS

For further information, please contact:

Shaun Noble Communications Officer ( (020) 7939 7043

mobile ( 07768 69 39 40

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA web site: amicus-cphva.org

 The CPHVA represents health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the amicus trade union. MSF joined with the AEEU to form amicus, the UK’s second largest union, on 1 January 2002.

NOTE FOR NEWS DESKS

For further information, please contact

Shaun Noble Press Officer (020) 7939 7043 Mobile 0468 69 39 40 MSF

press releases can be seen on our web site: www.msf.org.uk

Amicus/MSF represents 65,000 health service professionals including the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, laboratory scientific staff, the College of Health Care Chaplains, the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association, the Medical Practitioners' Union, clinical psychologists, speech therapists, the Hospital Physicists Association and the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association.

Amicus/MSF has 400,000 skilled and professional members in a wide range of industries. It is the UK's second largest union.

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