PRRT team goes above and beyond to help Terry’s recovery at home
Terry and Amanda from Portsmouth have been married for 36 years. When Terry fell ill last year, they needed healthcare support and this was when Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth City Council’s integrated Portsmouth Rehabilitation and Reablement Team (PRRT) came to their aid.
Terry lost his lower limb 5 years ago, making him less mobile, and using a wheelchair to assist in his mobility. This was also when Amanda stepped in to take care of her husband.
Terry became quite ill in December last year (2022) with a bad bladder infection. He did not want to go to hospital, even though doctors wanted him to come in because they were concerned about sepsis. Terry said: “ I did not want to take up a bed that someone else may need more than me. I went a few weeks before this happened as I suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
“I wanted to stay home. I was not myself. They then brought in this fantastic team of people to look after me at home.”
Amanda was scared initially because she could not cope with caring for Terry at home and thought he needed to go to hospital to get the care he needed. Amanda says: “I tried to get him to hospital because it was hard to look after him, I was really struggling to get him up. I was scared if he stayed at home, he wouldn’t get the care he needed. Also, I can’t cope with him alone, which will be to his detriment.”
Amanda recalls that day when they contacted St Mary’s Community Health Campus in Portsmouth and help was sent. Amanda adds: “The head paramedic phoned their team to send for someone to assess and that was when PRRT kicked in and 2 carers were put in place (morning/night). They started coming in every day to our house to look after Terry. The nurses gave us the confidence and put us at ease that we would get the best care at home.”
Terry saw a wide range of different rehab assistants, from nurses, a physiotherapist and occupational therapist, “who were all brilliant, and just phenomenal”, said Amanda.
Nothing they wouldn’t do
Amanda says: “I have experience of having carers, my mom who had dementia had carers, and there is no comparison. The carers in this team are outstanding and there is nothing they wouldn’t do for you.”
The PRRT team supported Amanda and Terry at home for a few weeks until Terry was better.
Ellie Conway, a PRRT nurse, assisted Terry towards the end of his treatment. He had recovered from the chest and urine infection but was then having dizzy episodes which concerned Ellie, so she got the GP out to have a look and see what was wrong.
Ellie has been a nurse for 8 years and loves working in the PRRT team because they keep people safe at home and prevent hospital admissions.
Ellie says: “It’s lovely to see our patients recover and look so healthy, it’s nice to see – it is very rewarding to see the difference we have made.”
Amanda is so grateful for the support and care they received from PRRT. She says: “If it was not for this team, Terry would have had to go to hospital, and I don’t think he would have got that level of care and attention we received with this team at home. Also, for my husband to feel comfortable in our own home, he was much calmer because he was at home.
“I also had the comfort of knowing that they picked up conditions that needed treatment and the treated him.”
The team also supported Terry’s wife because she could not have done all this on her own. She says: ”They did everything from changing him, and doing the bed, I have health issues, so to do all that for me is not easy. It was only after he could start getting out of bed that I could help more. Knowing the team was there, I could trust them fully to give Terry the best care. I was scared I was going to lose him but having the confidence of knowing whilst these people were around if he needed to go to hospital, they would have made sure that happened. They are just brilliant.
“We will be eternally grateful for their help and support. They put us at ease straight away.”
Integration and teamwork equal success
Sarah Granger, PRRT Modern Matron, is very proud of their team and what they offer.
Upon reflection on what makes this team function so well, Sarah acknowledges teamwork. “The integration enables us to be so successful. Because we can respond on the day once assessment has been done, we are able to bring all the relevant services and care together such as occupational therapists, nurses, rehab assistants. We have multi-disciplinary team meetings every week where we all come together and can discuss patients and see what else we can do or give the right referrals.
“Beside supporting patients at home, we also get patients out of hospital quicker if they do need to be admitted. And offer ongoing support if the patient has further needs.
Kevin Mitchell, PRRT Operational Manager, is grateful for Terry and Amanda sharing their experience with PRRT and it shows how you can be looked after well at home if you are willing to be cared for at home. He said: “We need to remember how we care and support for not only the patient, but also for the family and the home. And its great to hear that they felt confident in our care for them and that we put them at ease.
“There is strong evidence that people who can recover at home in their own environment where their mental health and wellbeing is good, they have a good chance of recovering and Terry’s situation enabled that with our team.
“It’s very encouraging to see what you do every day and what is so normal to us can have such an impact on people. It reminds us that we are very fortunate to do our jobs and it’s very rewarding.”