A picture of Sherwood house gardens
Toni Smith October 28, 2021

A day in the life of a Paramedic First Contact Practitioner

Kay Gallimore is the Paramedic First Contact Practitioner trainee for Byron PCN. She was appointed by Primary Integrated Community Services (PICS) and assists GPs with the care of residents in six care homes across the Torkard surgery area of Hucknall.

Primary Care Network Paramedics support GPs and work as part of an integrated care team. A team of 14 Paramedics across seven Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are supported by Carol Pape, Lead Paramedic within PICS. They work as a team to integrate the role in the wider health and social care system, share good practice and develop in line with Health Education England’s roadmap of education for practice.

Kay’s role is one of many new and exciting positions and services, which are being developed in general practice and the community that make it easier to access a wider range of help from general practice, closer to home, by phone or online. This is part of the NHS Long Term Plan to offer people more choice and more joined-up healthcare.

Here Kay shares a day in  her working life…

Diary for a day in Hucknall: Tuesday 12 October 2021

I start at 9am and after grabbing a quick cuppa I’m down to business. Most care homes don’t appreciate a telephone call or a visit before 10am because they have the huge task of administering medicines to residents after breakfast. I use this time in the morning to check my emails and look for updates on tasks I’ve already started.

10am Today I’m going to Sherwood House – a home set in beautiful surroundings which I just love working in.

I’m responsible for undertaking a ward round for all the residents in my patch. This is generally in the form of a face-to-face visit one week, and then a telephone ward round on the weeks in between visits. I’ll try and pop over if someone needs examining though, rather than relying on a telephone consult. Visiting helps me have a visual idea of how someone is doing and it’s good for the residents as they get used to seeing a regular face. Being familiar helps break down barriers so hopefully they can talk to me openly about any issues. I like to think they see me as a friendly face, even if it is behind a mask!

I don all my PPE and sit down with Senior Carer, Rachel, (see main photo) and because this a relatively small home with only 14 residents, we spend time talking with each of them individually. Continuity of care in this way helps me build a great rapport between staff, carers and residents.

Rachel and I talked with a resident about their end of life care. We ensured all the correct anticipatory medication was in place and that the resident was comfortable, and that we are having regular communication with family. Its feels good to be involved in making sure the resident is comfortable. Being trusted and involved in this way also allows the GP time to catch up on other responsibilities.

I also took and recorded residents’ weights and blood pressures to identify any new issues as part of their personal care plans.

The Wi-Fi isn’t strong enough so I then ‘hot foot ‘back to surgery to task the GPs for medication and review.

It’s now 11:30 – time for a quick coffee. I grab some lunch as whilst writing up my patients’ needs as there’s a patient-focused multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meeting soon.

1pm – I log on to the MDT meeting with my video off – no-one wants to see me eating! I listen out for any useful information and contribute if I can. This is very strange – talking to a computer is never easy.

2:30pm – I start another care home review: this time I’m on the phone to Buddliea House. After exchanging pleasantries, we concentrate on the residents who need reviews and agree who may need a follow up visual exam. Whilst in front of System One I can input useful details and confirm test results to Senior Carers. I always try to speak to the same Carer each week as they are the ones who know the residents well.

Many Carers will take observations which are helpful, but generally I like to go and see the resident for myself to ascertain any problems. It becomes clear that I need to see a resident who has become more confused. Lots of my residents have a multitude of medical issues and many have dementia. They can be very challenging to deal with and its often upsetting to see them in crisis. I hope I can make life a little easier by getting them the help they need sooner. It’s clear I can’t change everything, but the contacts and connections I’ve made will go some way to helping these residents in their twilight years.

Its approaching 4pm and after going out to see the resident at Buddleia House, I go back to the surgery to send their urine sample off and write up my findings. I then debrief with the GP – it’s a good time for me get my concerns across to them and invariably a good educational part of the day for me too. I also work closely with Pharmacists, Dieticians and Nurses here at the surgery too and we have good working partnerships.

5pm comes around too quickly but two ward rounds ticked off today. Yippee!

Kay Gallimore (left) with Rachel, Senior Carer at Sherwood House