Meet the new ‘community matrons’ providing hospital care in people’s homes

Four of the six West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust community matrons - Sheila Burns, Kate Foxwell, Al

Four of the six West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust community matrons - Sheila Burns, Kate Foxwell, Alison Salmon and Sandra Webb. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK NHS FOUNDATION TRUST - Credit: Archant

They are best known as formidable figures who supervise hospitals - but now a team of new matrons are to become just as respected figures in the community by providing hospital services in people’s homes.

There are now six community matrons looking after patients in west Suffolk who have chronic, long-term conditions, expanding an existing service run by the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

The aim of the team is to give those patients the best quality of life they can, preventing unnecessary admission to hospital.

The matrons support a team of nurses, therapists and generic workers in the trust's six integrated neighbourhood teams, with each matron having a caseload of patients.

Sandra Webb, who is the community matron for Mildenhall and Brandon, said: "We support and empower people to manage their conditions and maintain their independence."

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"We do a home visit for a top to toe, comprehensive assessment of each patient's situation - not just their health - and refer to other services as needed.

"Our focus is to fit the care around the individual, not to try and make them fit the system."

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Her colleagues are Shelley Lee with the Sudbury team, Sheila Burns with Haverhill, Caroline Ryan with Bury Town, Alison Salmon with Bury Rural, and Kate Foxwell with Newmarket.

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