Exploring patients' experiences of a community matron service using storybooks

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Abstract

Background:

Several Department of Health policy documents outline a vision for services to be designed around patients. The community matron service was introduced across NHS South of Tyne and Wear PCTs in 2005 and has developed over the last four years to offer a seven-day service to patients, delivered by 52 community matrons.

Method:

A project in 2008 to gather patients' views of the service led to the development of service ‘storybooks’. These are a rich source of data, captured through in-depth, semi-structured interviews.

Results and conclusion:

The data shows the service is well regarded and beneficial. The most important factors for patients included: an assurance of the service being there; reliable/supportive staff; effective communication skills; and matron availability. The storybooks reveal high levels of patient satisfaction and the importance the service gives to patient involvement.

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