Interprofessional working: “Come with me if you want to live”
By Anna Mather, Project Officer, VOICES
In 2019 two of our cities Cardiology Consultants Dr Satchi and Dr Whittaker were on the Endocarditis ward, they recognised people experiencing multiple disadvantage, especially where addiction issues are present, often struggled when admitted to hospital as an inpatient.
After recognising these difficult cases Dr Whittaker and Dr Satchi reached out to services in the wider community to gain a better understanding of their roles, they wanted to create the necessary changes to ensure that any patient they may have on the ward with multiple and complex needs in the future is supported in the best way possible, based on the individual needs of the patient.
From this an event was co-organised ‘Come with me if you want to live’, originally due to happen in April 2020 but due to C19 had to be changed to an online event. The rescheduled event happened on Tuesday 27th October via Zoom.
Many professionals came together, including VOICES, from varying disciplines to share learning and understanding but also to create a pathway of support for individuals who maybe on the ward with multiple and complex needs. The day focused on the value of interprofessional working and changing how we look at the work ‘team’… “let’s be the patient’s team, regardless of our position or organisation, and be their team of support”.
One of our service coordinators who attended the event shared some thoughts “A lot of planning went into the event and workshops, that in itself highlights the commitment by consultants, wanting to make significant changes to current practices to increase the success rate of patients surviving following a hospital admission for Endocarditis.”
“All those present appeared really interested and were thankful for the information provided and several were unaware before the day of what community support options were available and how to access.”
“Most of the people present were taking on a more holistic approach to patients but what I’m thankful for is that a group of professionals are having a conversation – that in itself is to be commended and built upon, it’s a starting point. I feel there was determination to make changes on the hospital ward – wanting to reducing the morbidity rate of people with Endocarditis with multiple and complex needs in particularly substance misuse.”
Jane Morton, Advanced Nurse Practitioner – Homeless Health said “I think it was really useful as it did highlight that there was some stigma from some staff but as the day went on I felt that it was more related to their lack of knowledge around our service users and a number of preconceived ideas. I was very impressed with the two cardiologists who organised the event as I really felt they wanted to improve things. There were plans discussed for developing a pathway but unfortunately covid V3.0 turned up.”
Geoff Davis, Specialist Housing Advisor, Stoke North and Staffordshire Citizens Advice Bureau shared “I think it was useful to inform the staff working with endocarditis patients about how to identify and refer patients at risk of homelessness and to describe how the council deal with their applications. For my part, I learned a lot about how this condition affects patients and the challenges that this client group can cause for clinical staff”.