The work I do varies greatly from day to day. As part of my job I have to attend meetings both inside and outside the Millom area. Whilst the location, days, and times I work vary, today I have arrived in Millom at 0800. My first job of the day is to ‘sign on’, where I let the ambulance control room know that I am available in the area to respond to 999 calls. I then carry out a full check of my response car, based at Millom ambulance station. All of the equipment and drugs are checked daily. Once I have completed the vehicle checks, I have a list of work I need to get through!
I start the day by looking at ways the ambulance service can improve the way it works with all of the community services in Millom, and how we can work with these services to treat more people in the Millom area. I am working closely with the GPs, the district nurses and the new case manager and case co-ordinator to achieve this. Working closely with the community services will enable all of the patients seen by ambulance crews to get the right care, in the right place, which won’t always mean a trip to hospital.
One way we want to achieve this, and what I am working on today, involves me working closely with the GPs and the case manager to develop care plans. Care plans allow a patient to have a say in how and where they want to be treated. Patients with long term illnesses, for example chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a breathing problem) can often be treated at home when they are unwell, but to be able to provide the best care, a number of community services need to work together. A care plan ensures we all know what plans have already been put in place, and allows us to contact the right people to provide the right care first time. However, if at any time you do not want the care plan to be followed, it is your right to change your mind.
I am asked to respond to a 999 call. On reaching the patient, I fully assess her, and find that her complaint could be managed by her own GP. I contact the GP practice, and discuss the findings of my assessment with the GP. The GP agrees that the patient can be managed by the surgery, and does not require a journey to hospital. An appointment is arranged with the GP practice and the patient remains at home.
I also see patients in the GPs surgery a couple of afternoons per week. When you ring up in the morning for a same day appointment, and speak to the GP, if they feel it is suitable for me to see you, you will be added to my afternoon list. I start by gaining information about what has happened, and then I carry out an assessment which may involve looking into ears, listening to a chest with a stethoscope, or looking into a throat. I then discuss my findings with the GP and we can then decide what the best course of treatment is.
At the end of an 11 hour day it’s time to head home, and get ready for my next shift!