Family thankful for our support with autistic daughter’s treatment

Sarah, a patient with a history of autism and disability was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital following left tibia and fibular open segmental fractures, which resulted in the removal of an intramedullary nail (IMN) and the application of a circular frame.

Sarah was to be discharged to her mother’s home and was referred to HomeLink Healthcare on Friday 19th December for weekly pin site care to ensure the skin around the metal pin areas of the frame didn’t get infected.

Sarah didn’t understand what was going on and was really anxious about going back into hospital. As she was at her mother’s home, she was not registered with a GP which made the process of arranging district nursing visits more complicated.

Sarah’s mother had attempted to register her daughter at her own GP surgery so that she could get interim nursing care, however, the process was far from smooth. She and her daughter were anxious and lacked trust in the healthcare system.

Recognising Sarah’s individual needs, HomeLink Healthcare provided support. We helped to register Sarah with a new GP, provided relevant information and arranged visits from district nursing. We worked collaboratively with the hospital teams and acted as a liaison between the Orthopaedic department, the GP surgery and the family until district nursing care was available and the mother was happy with the transfer of care.

Throughout the process, HomeLink remained supportive, with our nurses regularly contacting the patient and family to provide reassurance. To address the family’s concerns, our team contacted Sarah’s orthopaedic team, and recommendations were made to support her whilst she was under orthopaedic review. We communicated crucial information to Sarah in short, simple sentences, avoiding medical jargon but ensuring a full explanation.

HomeLink discharged Sarah when the district nurse service commenced, ensuring open and clear communication throughout.

Understanding Sarah’s sensitivity, we also requested that she be allowed to wait in a quieter room whenever possible when coming for her orthopaedic review at St Mary’s Hospital. Additionally, we advocated for the same staff members to support her consistently, aiming to ensure continuity of care and enhance engagement.

Without HomeLink Healthcare, Sarah would have needed an ambulance to take her for weekly visits to the hospital to be reviewed by the orthopaedic team, which would have been very distressing, as well as using much needed ambulance resources.

The family expressed gratitude for the service and were appreciative of the ongoing support and positive aspects of Sarah’s orthopaedic progress. Sarah’s mother thanked us for the quality of care and emotional support we provided both to herself and her daughter through this difficult time.

She added, “Thank you very much for all your care and attention given to my daughter. You all did a marvellous job. It’s really appreciated.

Shirley achieves her reablement goals in less than half the expected time

Shirley was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital at the beginning of January following a fall. When she was referred to HomeLink Healthcare for physiotherapy on 31st January, she was felt to be at a high risk of further falls.

The goals were for Shirley to become independently mobile with a Zimmer frame and to be able to visit the toilet by herself within four weeks, as well as being able to manage stairs and meals independently in five weeks.

In the first week of Shirley’s care, HomeLink carried out daily double-handed physiotherapy treatment and also made one nursing visit to monitor her two wounds that were identified whilst she was in hospital, before handing this part of her care to the district nursing team.

Shirley’s progress was remarkable. By the end of the second week, with physiotherapy sessions reduced to single-handed support, she had achieved most of her goals with supervision and demonstrated excellent mobility.

This improvement was reflected in her self-reported quality of life score (EQ-5D-5L), which had increased from 40 to 75 in the two weeks between 2nd and 16th February. Similarly, her mBarthel scores showed an improvement from severe dependence (a score of 45 on admission to our service) to moderate dependence (a score of 62 after two weeks).

Despite plans for her transition after the second week, delays in the community physiotherapist’s availability necessitated an additional week of support from HomeLink Healthcare. To ensure Shirley kept up the momentum and didn’t deteriorate, HomeLink provided two additional physiotherapy visits in week three.

Following her discharge, Shirley’s daughter reached out to our office to express her gratitude for the fantastic progress Shirley achieved during her time with us. She specifically highlighted the exceptional teamwork demonstrated by the HomeLink team and said she is extremely happy with the results and the support her mother received.

Paul gets his reason to smile back

One of our recent patients, Paul, was living with Parkinson’s disease and depression when aspiration pneumonia and cognitive decline led to his hospitalisation on 11th February.

Needing significant support, Paul was referred to HomeLink Healthcare on 22nd February for physiotherapy. When we first met him, Paul required two therapists to assist him with any movement and used a Sara Stedy for stability.

Through intensive physiotherapy sessions, Paul began a journey to regain his strength and mobility. Over the course of the next two weeks, our focus was on helping him move safely and independently. During this time, Paul saw significant progress. His mobility score (mBarthel) jumped from 28 to 53, indicating a marked improvement in his daily activities. His self-reported quality of life score (EQ-5D-5L) also rose from 50 to 65, showing a positive shift in his overall well-being.

Originally scheduled for discharge on 9th March, with the expectation of community team involvement, the handover process took a bit longer than initially anticipated. To ensure continuity of care, we extended our visits until the transition could be completed.

Throughout his time with us, Paul’s physical progress was remarkable. His wheelchair mobilisation progressed from 0 to 8, and he successfully transitioned from using the Sara Stedy to a four-wheel Zimmer frame within two weeks. Initially requiring double-handed physiotherapy, Paul transitioned to single-handed visits by the end of our care.

Beyond his physical progress, we also witnessed a remarkable transformation in Paul’s emotional well-being. Initially grappling with severe depression and feelings of burden, with increased mobility and independence, his outlook shifted dramatically during his time with us.

His daughter expressed her gratitude for the positive impact our team had on Paul’s life, adding:

“They are fantastic! They’ve made a massive difference in my dad’s life. They put a smile back on his face and supported him both physically and mentally.”

Got a question? Contact us on (020) 3137 5370

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