Community Specialist Paramedic, Claire Morris

Claire MorrisMonday
Well, I start the week on a day off!! I work various shifts, including weekends therefore I do take the odd day off during the week!

Tuesday
I start the day by signing onto my RRV to enable me to be available to respond to 999 calls. I then have to review the final draft of the Waterloo surgery minor injury pathway. This pathway will enable NWAS crews in the Millom locality to be able to take minor injury patients into Waterloo surgery for treatment. Its 25 miles to the nearest healthcare facility that will treat minor injuries from Millom, but by working closely with the GPs at Waterloo surgery, they have agreed to accept minor injuries from the Millom locality into their surgery. The GPs advise me they are ready to get going with the pathway, which is fantastic news!

As part of my role in Millom, I am working with the local community teams in finding better ways to manage complex patients within the community. This afternoon I am at a multidisciplinary team meeting regarding a patient who is complex and there is a risk he could become a high user of 999. I think it is important that NWAS plays a role in these discussions as understanding the background to a 999 call can help guide us to different ways of working and care planning to prevent unnecessary 999 calls and hospital admissions.

Still plenty of paper work to keep me going for a few hours after the meeting.

Wednesday
Once I’ve made myself available to respond to 999 calls I start work by putting the finishing touches to the skin tear trial. Silicone dressings have been used by District Nurses for some time to treat skin tears, but they have never been used by Paramedics before. Particularly in rural Cumbria where the distances to hospital can be significant, this may make a significant difference to patients.

This afternoon I am working in the GP practice. I am currently studying for my MSc Advanced Practice so gaining clinical experience in a GP practice is fantastic. If a patient calls for a same day appointment they firstly speak to the GP. If the doctor feels that the patient would be suitable for me to assess they will book the patient an appointment with me. I will then run through my list, assessing the patient and reviewing my findings with a GP. This enables me to practice my assessment and clinical decision making skills as I discuss what I think the management plan for the patient should be with the GP. I feel that by doing this aspect of the job I am able to learn a lot from experienced practitioners which helps me to develop my own clinical practice.

Thursday
Day off today, or should I say study day!!

Friday
This morning is the Operational Leaders Meeting in Millom. Every month all the leading members of the groups involved in the care of individuals in Millom, such as the GPs, District Nurses, Physiotherapists, Managers from the Acute and Community Trusts and from charities, such as Age UK, all meet to see how we can work closer together to provide care to patients in the area and reduce hospital visits. We all sit around a table, give our viewpoints, and can suggest ways that we can work together to provide improved care within the Millom community. We all leave the meeting with a list of jobs to do!

Once again, I am in the GP surgery this afternoon. I have a list of patients to get through, so it’s a busy afternoon but I’m learning a lot!!

Saturday
Its Millom Carnival today, so I’m there with Tony, from the NWAS Patient Experience Team, Cath, a Paramedic, and Janet, an NWAS Governor. We are there to highlight to the local community that 999 doesn’t always mean a trip to hospital, and 111 is also an option! I’m also helping Jo, the Millom health and wellbeing link nurse. Jo is at the carnival to highlight the Millom Alliance ‘choose well’ chart, and the local pharmacy minor ailment scheme, both good ways to help patients access the correct service first time round!

Sunday
A day off and getting ready to start another hectic week!