Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust is asking people to “spare a thought” for community healthcare staff who will carry on as usual caring for patients in their homes, despite Christmas.
Community teams all over the county of Suffolk will be looking after people in their own homes giving nursing care, therapy and support, and helping to prevent admission to hospital.
“It’s a time of year when everyone should have some social interaction”
Barry Gibson heads up the North West Community Health Team in Suffolk, provided by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust. Often their patients are elderly, frail or at the end of their life, and the care they receive from the team is a lifeline, noted the trust.
Mr Gibson said: “My team will be working very hard. People’s needs don’t stop over Christmas. In our line of work carrying on over the holidays is part and parcel of the job”.
One of his team, community nurse Mandy Cooper will be working on Boxing Day. She said: “I like working over Christmas, and patients are always pleased to see you. You may be the only person they see in a day, and I think it’s a time of year when everyone should have some social interaction”.
While Ms Cooper has been working with the North West Community Health Team since March, she has 18 years’ experience as a community nurse. “I love the variety and just meeting different patients,” she said.
Trust asks public to ‘spare a thought’ for district nurses
Meanwhile, the early intervention team at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is working throughout Christmas to help keep patients at home throughout the West of Suffolk.
A multi-disciplinary team of support workers, including nurses, all play a role in assessing and caring for patients in their homes, helping them to maintain their independence rather than come into hospital when it is unnecessary.
Hosted by the trust, the service is delivered in partnership with Suffolk Community Healthcare, Suffolk County Council, Age UK Suffolk, and Suffolk Family Carers.