Last October, we spent another busy few days delivering equipment and visiting patients. This trip was not planned, but as there were twenty nine pieces of equipment to be delivered it made sense to take them.
Our first call was to Carlisle in Cumbria.
When a patient approaches us for help, we want to get equipment to them as quickly as possible, but we have a protocol we need to cover. Getting a doctor to sign a authorisation form or waiting on the post for a returned application is sometimes a lengthy procedure, and NARA, being such a small charity working mainly with volunteers we do not always have enough staff available to deliver equipment just when it’s required. This means we need to be more proactive.
There are many patients who need help straight away, and sadly many palliative patients do not have the time to wait. Today, we placed twelve nebulisers into Cumbria Health On Call – CHOC, a not-for-profit organisation that has been providing healthcare services to patients, families and communities throughout the county – just under 500,000 head of population – for over 20years. One piece of equipment will be placed into each of their all terrain vehicles so there is always a nebuliser on hand to give to a patient as soon as they need it. These are for use for the vehicles and short term patient use and thereafter NARA will replace with full term equipment.
After an overnight stay we traveled to Liverpool to deliver more nebulisers and spares into two surgeries already helped by NARA. When equipment is placed into surgeries it is for their use also, so as well as being proactive to help our own patients in emergencies, we can also help all those who need nebulising at the surgeries.
On to Manchester where we deliver more nebulisers and spares to The Christie Hospital complex discharge team, who support patients being discharged from hospital with complex healthcare and nursing needs. As I said previously there are patients who do not always have time to wait for equipment, when one gets the news that there is nothing else that can be done to help them many want to go home to be with their families to spend precious moments with their loved ones. This is one such time this equipment can help as it can be sent home with the patient until NARA can get a full term nebuliser to them if needed.
Our next call was to Bradford, one of our very busy areas for equipment. Because of our hasty trip we were not been able to organise pre-planned visits to our patients. Bradford is one of our biggest areas so last minute phone calls were made and we managed to call on a good number of patients. We were able to replace equipment and give spares where needed. We also had a new patient to deliver equipment to as well, so in all a very productive day. From there we were of to meet a community nurse at one of the four surgeries he covers in Bradford and delivered some nebulisers, again to be proactive.
During Christmas, due to staff sickness within NARA, and the courier delivery being so very busy, our proactive system seemed to work a treat. Two patients in different area of the country both where we have our proactive equipment in place needed equipment urgently, which they were given as a short term loan, NARA will then replace in the new year with a permanent piece of equipment. The compressor will be returned to surgery with new spares to be reused.