16 Apr 2021 Care
The Kirkwood celebrates the work of its nurses who have succeeded in the face of adversity
One of the biggest barriers to care over the last year has been the lack of physical contact and human interaction as a result of the pandemic. Here in Kirklees our healthcare colleagues, including The Kirkwood Nurses, have quickly adapted their ways of working to be able to continue to deliver the highest levels of care and support to those who need it most.
Standing side by side with NHS colleagues, The Kirkwood Nurses have provided vital support for the most vulnerable patients and families in the Kirklees community, helping those in their care to live well and make the most of every single day.
Out in the community, life has looked very different. Pre-pandemic, The Kirkwood Nurses would have personally visited GP practices, specialist providers and patients in need of palliative support as part of their daily routine, but for the past year the community based team have had to evolve, using technology to facilitate many meetings and assessments. Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other virtual meeting platforms have become a vehicle for connecting nurses with their patients and the wider community.
The Kirkwood Nurse, Kelly Holmes, explains: “During the course of the pandemic, we have adapted our services to make sure we can still offer support to anyone who needs us. Whilst we are taking all necessary precautions to keep our patients and the nurses safe, we are continuing to visit the most vulnerable in their own home when it really matters, as we have always done, because it’s the right thing to do for the patient and their family.
“Through the use of technology we have been able to offer virtual assessments and appointments too, allowing us to still see our patients, and care for their symptoms. As lockdown begins to ease, we all look forward to the day we can return to our more active role in the community and regular face to face contact.”
Under Government guidelines, home visits to patients in need of specialist care and support are allowed, but only when necessary, with the number of individuals present kept to a minimum. Home visits alongside GPs and district nurses have also been restricted, as has the contact between healthcare providers and The Kirkwood Nurses in healthcare setting such as GP surgeries.
Yet, The Kirkwood remain resolute in their mission of offering support to anyone with a life limiting condition, undertaking home visits for those who need them, delivering virtual consultations and wellbeing sessions, as well as telephone counselling and support.
Michael Crowther, Chief Executive at The Kirkwood, adds: “All healthcare professionals have faced a baptism of fire, completely transforming the way they provide care in line with the latest guidelines. Our nurses have been standing shoulder to shoulder with all NHS colleagues as they tackle these barriers and have succeeded in transforming the way they work to ensure the very best standards of care are delivered.
“It has not been easy, and we still have a long way to go, but anyone diagnosed or living with a life limiting illness has access to our services, day or night. We’re just a call away.”
The work of The Kirkwood Nurses is to deliver essential support to patients with life limiting conditions. Not only do the nurses provide specialist advice to help patients control symptoms and pain, they also offer emotional support and help families navigate the care system to access the equipment and social care needed to support the patient through this time. The nurses also have a vital role to play in facilitating referral to The Kirkwood’s In-Patient Unit should it become necessary to manage symptoms in a healthcare setting or for end of life care.
With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to affect daily lives, The Kirkwood is still here for anyone with a life limiting illness – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Advice Line is always open and is available to patients, carers and family members as well as all healthcare professionals. Anyone can call for help and support, whether you have been in touch with The Kirkwood before or not. Call the advice line on: 01484 557 910.
Need clinical advice?
Call our advice line on:
24 hrs a day