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SCCS - Supporting patients and families via telephone

The team is in extreme demand due to the current crisis and therefore adapting different ways of working to ensure our team can continue supporting patients and families in the community.

Julia Bryan on the phone 2

I have asthma (which is a long term condition) and this puts me at increased risk, according to the COVID guidelines, but I want to be able to participate and do my best, so my clinical leads have ensured I am in an office on my own in order to reduce my chances of becoming ill and burden our acute services.


I am able to make contact on the telephone be this; follow up calls, telephone assessments or taking urgent calls overnight via the Specialist Advice Line service - I cannot do visits at the moment, but most of the team can and will do so in a crisis.


The SCCS team focus remains on symptom management, having advanced care planning discussions, liaising with other community health care professionals, ensuring medications are prescribed and delivered to patients’ homes or making changes to medication to ensure patients are comfortable.


We play a valuable role in preventing unnecessary hospital admissions and preventing the emergency services being called out by being able to give patients and families reassurance and advice on symptom control.


The families and patients I have spoken to in the last week have been truly amazing, and very receptive to telephone assessments and they feel reassured that they can phone our 24/7 Advice line if in need.


And I’ve been truly humbled by the gratitude I’ve received from the people I’ve contacted.


I would normally visit patients and families to discuss advanced care planning but I have been able to have these very sensitive and difficult conversations over the phone. Knowing what patients want also helps our team to prevent A&E admissions at this time and may take some pressure off our colleagues in the acute sector.


Many relatives have moved in with the patients to reduce the risk of COVID-19, so care agencies are not needed. There are many sacrifices going on out there by lots of truly caring people.


The strength of SCCS has always been the nurses, together with the administrators and the medical team who work alongside - all supporting each other and recognising everyone’s skills and talents.


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