Caring and why home first is important

Caring and why home first is important featured image
Today I met and spent time with these two ladies whilst they were at work. What I saw from them today was an act of caring in the work place that potentially saved the life of an elderly gentleman and they had no idea what they had done.


Let me explain; These ladies work for Sunderland urgent care service, an out of hospital service  we visited to learn more about what they do. I travelled with the team (ECIST - emergency care intensive support team) to visit a patient at the care home he lived in. The urgent care service team were called as the gentleman had slipped out of his chair and banged his head.

For the sake of confidentiality I’m going to call the patient Jimmy. We went into Jimmy’s room, the staff did an extremely thorough, professional and caring examination ruling out a head injury and checking Jimmy was neurologically stable. On our way to Jimmy’s home the team explained that Jimmy was well known to the service and they had visited him several times previously because of his long term condition which was COPD. When the team examined Jimmy and took his observations he was tachycardic with high resps and oxygen saturations in the low to mid 90’s.

Because the team knew Jimmy and had access to his medical records they knew this was normal for him. Whilst there we all chatted to Jimmy about football and he spoke about his love for a drop of cognac which his wife brought to him regularly. We watched him stand up on his own and with the help of a zimmer frame walk independently around his room and sit down. We wished Jimmy well and left.

Why such a caring act then? Let me explain what could have happened and what can happen elsewhere. Jimmy will slip and bang his head. The unsupported care home staff will call 999 and an ambulance will arrive. They examine Jimmy and see no signs of head injury but the breathlessness and observations cause them to take him to ED. In ED the medical teams, under time pressures and without prior knowledge of Jimmy admit him under the medical team with exacerbation of COPD. He will get into a hospital bed and at that point start deconditioning physically. He is likely to lose independent mobility as he is treated for his condition and as various assessments are undertaken to ensure a care home is the right place for him. During this time Jimmy could develop a chest infection on top of his COPD and die in hospital.

Think home first

This did not happen to Jimmy, we left Jimmy happy to have seen some friendly faces, in his home looking forward to his wife visiting and bringing him more cognac. By doing what they did the team saved Jimmy’s life. These staff are amazing and their actions are an example of outstanding care.
  • Fabulous Stuff
  • Nursing
  • Emergency care
  • admission avoidance
  • ECIST Network
  • FabSocialCareStuff
  • Acute > Fabulous Stuff
  • Acute
  • Leadership and Management > Fabulous Stuff
  • Leadership and Management
  • Primary Care > Fabulous Stuff
  • Primary Care
  • Community Services > Fabulous Stuff
  • Community Services
  • Mental Health > Fabulous Stuff
  • Mental Health
  • Social Care > Fabulous Stuff
  • Social Care
  • Commissioning and Procurement > Fabulous Stuff
  • Commissioning and Procurement
  • Mental Health > Nursing
  • Community Services > Nursing
  • Primary Care > Nursing
  • Acute > Family Care > Nursing
  • Acute > Family Care
  • Acute > Surgery > Nursing
  • Acute > Surgery
  • Acute > Medicine > Nursing
  • Acute > Medicine
  • Acute > Clinical Support > Nursing
  • Acute > Clinical Support
  • Acute > Medicine > Emergency care
  • Social Care > Admission Avoidance
  • Community Services > Admission Avoidance
  • Acute > Medicine > Admission avoidance
  • Acute > Medicine > Rehab and elderly Medicine
  • Campaigns > ECIST
  • Campaigns
  • Social Care > FabSocialCareStuff
  • Community Services > FabSocialCareStuff
Download acrobat reader