North Kent NHS community services team pulls together to battle through storm

People in Dartford, Gravesham, Swanley and Swale were being reassured that local NHS adult community services were ready and prepared for the difficult weather, after hard-working staff battled through snow and ice last week to ensure all housebound patients are supported.

As temperatures plummeted and snow carpeted the local area, all of the community nurses who were on duty turned out to work. Teams worked together with managers to implement contingency plans so that services could continue to operate.

Community nurses were able to ensure that patients were safe at home, warm enough with the right temperature heated indoors and that they had enough food to during the weather, and if they didn’t nurses supported them by getting groceries too them.

Snow1Rebecca Allen, Team Leader for Community Nursing who was on call herself during the snowy conditions, said: “While most of our staff managed to get in despite the weather conditions, we had staff who were on leave come in to help see patients near their own homes. Everyone pulled together so that we were able to see patients to make sure they were okay and ensure they had enough food indoors. Morale has never been higher.”

Sarah Wardle, Managing Director for the Dartford, Gravesham, Swanley and Swale NHS Adult Community Services, said: “All of our staff are truly remarkable in managing to get to patients even when a snow emergency was declared in Kent. Despite the conditions, the teams came together as one and got on with the job at hand, even if it meant walking to see patients.

“We are immensely proud of their work that they continue to do throughout these conditions to ensure all patients are seen at home and cared for.”

Community health services provide nursing care at home to patients who are housebound because they are frail, elderly or managing a long term health condition.

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