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How many patients can community matrons successfully case manage?


Sargent, PL and Boaden, R and Roland, M, How many patients can community matrons successfully case manage?, Journal of Nursing Management, 16, (1) pp. 38-46. ISSN 0966-0429 (2008) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2007 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-2934.2007.00785.x


Aim To describe actual patient caseload sizes among case managers for long term conditions and explore issues of caseload manageability. Background Department of Health guidance advises that community matron case managers for long term conditions should manage caseloads of 5080 patients. However, there is currently no evidence to justify these caseload targets. Method In-depth interviews were conducted with 46 case managers for long term conditions, five clinical leads and six programme leads across six Primary Care Trusts. Findings Case managers had caseloads of 1055 patients each, although numbers fluctuated from week to week. The current caseload target was regarded as difficult to manage. Heavy caseloads were perceived to result in a shift from proactive care towards reactive care, decreased quality of care and increased hospital admissions. Conclusion Case managers for long term conditions are struggling to achieve and maintain caseload targets. Further research is necessary to identify the most appropriate caseload size and provide an evidence base for policy. Implications for nursing management Programme leads and managers need to carefully assess the local situation, the characteristics of the target population and the practicalities of delivering the model of care before identifying appropriate caseload targets.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Case management, nursing, community matrons, chronic conditions
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Primary health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Nursing
UTAS Author:Sargent, PL (Dr Penny Allen)
ID Code:86996
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Rural Clinical School
Deposited On:2013-11-05
Last Modified:2014-06-05

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