Wound care provision in an out of hours District Nursing Service

In England and Wales, more than 2.6 million people receive care from a district nurse each year (Queens Nursing Institute [QNI], 2009) and an often unreported area of this service is the out-of-hours service provided from 6pm to 8am daily and at weekends. The complexities of such a service are clearly described by Wilson and Taylor (2011), who explain that, during the night, patients are often very frightened and vulnerable due to the limited availability of healthcare provision. This article will, therefore, define what is meant by out-of-hours nursing service and explore the complexities of delivering wound management during the night to patients in their own homes.