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Community nurse laptop being used out in the Dales
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Hello, my name is Kay Green.  I am a Team Leader and registered nurse working with Airedale Collaborative Care Team, a community service based out of Airedale Hospital, caring for patients across Airedale, Wharfedale and up into the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Many of our patients live in rural hard-to-reach areas so we are used to travelling through the glorious countryside in all weathers.

We are proud of our skilled team; together we provide a 24/7 service to our local community and we thrive on the work we do.  Our aim is to respond quickly to people needing support at home, helping them to avoid an unnecessary trip to hospital.  We also support people who are coming home from hospital, helping them to re-establish their independence.

Our team is unique as it is made up of different of healthcare specialities such as registered nurses, health care support workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and mental health nurse specialists, overseen by a team of advanced clinical practitioners.

We work with many services including the ambulance service, GPs, hospitals, voluntary and social services, all with a shared vision of ensuring our patients can remain safe in their own home. With this collaborative approach we can safely manage a range of complex health conditions. These include intravenous antibiotic therapy, supporting respiratory and cardiovascular conditions and providing end of life care, to name but a few.

No two days are ever the same when working in the community. Quick thinking and creative problem solving is often key to supporting our patients to stay at home safely as situations can often be unpredictable and change quickly.  Covid has brought its own particular challenges, but we have managed, and at times our visits to patients’ homes have been the only social contact that person has had.  This made a real difference to so many people who have felt isolated during this time.

It is hugely important to us that patients, carers and family members are involved in decision making, and in planning care and treatment.  Our service is driven by asking our patients “what matters to you?”.

One local farmer I visited was making his way down the fields on a quad bike to meet me so I could administer intravenous antibiotic therapy! The treatment this gentleman received would have traditionally resulted in a prolonged hospital stay due to the complexity of his condition. However, with the skill, knowledge and appetite to think differently we were able to manage his treatment in his own home.  This made all the difference to him as he was able to stay at home with his family which is where he wanted to be.

It is rewarding to know you have made a difference to someone, whether it be supporting complex condition management or holding someone’s hand. If anything, the pandemic has reminded us of the importance of patience, empathy and the power of listening.  I know I speak for us all when I say we are proud to serve our local population.

For more information contact Katie Lister, head of communications, on 01535 294544 or katie.lister2@nhs.net