Meet the nurses helping coronavirus survivors return home

Annette Yeomanson, who is clinical lead for Norfolk Escalation Avoidance Team (NEAT) and Rosy Watson

Annette Yeomanson, who is clinical lead for Norfolk Escalation Avoidance Team (NEAT) and Rosy Watson, Queen's nurse at the NCH&C. Picture: NCH&C - Credit: Archant

Recovering from coronavirus does not stop the moment you are discharged from hospital.

For some, there is further care required before they can say they are truly better.

Helping them along the way are staff at the Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust (NCH&C) community teams.

Staff have played a part helping with coronavirus patients’ rehabilitation, alongside their usual duties supporting patients living with other medical needs.

Annette Yeomanson, clinical lead for Norfolk Escalation Avoidance Team (NEAT), said: “Patients at the beginning of Covid were very scared about people coming into their homes and actually wanted that information about how they could self manage and look after something themselves with minimal input, but very good support and safety netting from community services.

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“One of the things that perhaps we don’t know yet is the recovery period of people who have Covid and what impact that is going to have on the community.”

With home visits continuing for patients requiring catheter, end of life and essential wound care, many of the trust’s 70 plus services have had to adapt with the help of technology or patients self-managing their care.

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Rosy Watson, a Queen’s nurse at the trust, said:“There was an anticipation we would embark on a monumental period of pressure that we would not be able to replicate or have had experienced at any other time.

“There is a huge element of rehabilitation after any sort of illness and hospital admission. For someone who has been admitted with coronavirus they have typically been affected from a respiratory perspective and so their mobility is probably reduced and their energy levels. That has a great impact on someone’s ability to be independent and be safe at home, especially if they live by themselves.”

She said patients also benefited from being known to the trust’s community team, who were aware of the services they would need.

She added; “We have enhanced our rapid discharge service to ensure people get home from hospital as quickly as possible unless they absolutely have to be there. We now aim to transfer people from hospital to home within three hours of them being assessed as medically ready to go home.

“This has obviously been a huge challenge, and it is one which has involved joint working and collaboration on what, in my experience, has been an unprecedented scale.”

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