Malcolm discusses policy on the purpose of nursing in the community
Community Health Nurses Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab):
To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is satisfied that the generic community health nurse role being piloted by the review of nursing in the community will be appropriate for delivering its health priorities. (S3O-7233)

Shona Robison (The Minister for Public Health and Sport):
The community health nurse role is a pilot in three national health service boards in Scotland. It will be fully and independently evaluated during 2010, and an interim evaluation of early implementers will be undertaken by the end of 2009. The results of the evaluation will inform decisions on the future of the generic community health nurse role.

Malcolm Chishom:
Does the minister agree with the majority of nurses that the generic community health nurse model would result in a loss of nursing experience in relation to children, young people and families, and that it would be better to have multidisciplinary community health teams that concentrate on either early years or adults? Will she therefore abandon the evaluation of the review of nursing in the community, given that it will cost £200,000 and will extend problems of recruitment and training until its completion in October 2010? Will she instead spend that money on filling vacancies in community nursing?

Shona Robison:
I remind Malcolm Chisholm that the review of nursing in the community was started under the previous Administration. When we came to power, we decided that the model should be tested. I make it clear that I recognise that some staff have concerns about the model, and we felt that it was important that we test it to answer some of those questions. We have said clearly that we are keeping an open mind on the future of community nursing in Scotland; perhaps Malcolm Chisholm should do likewise.
June 3rd 2009 (Column 18061)