What is a Community Matron?
Community Matrons are experienced nurses, working closely with GPs, District Nurses and other community based services, like therapists.
Community Matrons are experts in assessing complex medical problems, and supporting people who live with long-term conditions.
They can help you stay as well as possible, for as long as possible. They aim to:
- Help you to become, and stay, as independent as possible
- Help you stay in control of your health
- Prevent avoidable hospital admissions
- If a hospital stay is unavoidable, they help ensure it happens in a timely manner
- Make sure you feel supported and looked after
How do Community Matrons work?
Community Matrons will decide together with you on how to support you best. Some examples of what they do:
- Perform a thorough assessment of your physical needs
- Discuss with you, and your family (if appropriate) what kinds of support or treatment may be helpful, and explain your options
- Co-ordinate the services you receive to ensure care is provided as seamlessly as possible
- Liaise with other health professionals to offer additional help and expertise with your permission
- Prescribe medicines, or ask the GP to prescribe them for you, with your permission
- Matron visits may be once only, repeated follow-ups, or regular, depending on your needs
What else can they do?
Your Community Matron will be available as a point of contact, either over the phone or face to face, for advice and support on health issues.
Where appropriate, you may on occasions be visited by your Community Matron instead of a GP, or vice versa – this is because they work closely together as a team to provide the best possible care for you. You may also be visited by an experienced support worker, following assessment by the Matron.
If you are discharged from hospital, the Matron may be involved in supporting your discharge so you can safely leave hospital sooner.
Who needs a Community Matron?
Examples of situations where you may be referred to a Community Matron:
- You could have complex, long-term health problems and need support from several services to stay at home
- You may be at high risk of unplanned hospital admission
- You may recently have been discharged from hospital and need support to stay safe at home
- You could have a long-term condition which is at risk of becoming unstable, or has recently worsened
- People with a life-limiting illness, who reach the end of their lives and need complex support at home, also sometimes benefit from Matron input.
For information on how to contact this service, visit the Community Matron Service webpage.