Working in Community Response

Doris' Story

Interview with Doris, Crisis Response Team

Name and title?

My name is Doris. I’m an Advanced Clinical Practitioner.


How long have you worked here?

I’ve worked for Crisis for just over two years, and I’ve been an ACP (Advanced Clinical Practitioner) for just over a year.


What do you like about your role?

I like the fact that crisis ACPs are generalist, so we provide varied support as opposed to having one speciality. So we usually see all sorts, like even ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat), MSK (Musculoskeletal Health), cardiology, respiratory. So, I like the fact that I’m able to work with all of those specialities, even though I’m not technically a specialist in any of them. I’m able to support so many different people.


What would you say is the most challenging part of your role? 

The most challenging parts of my role are also the most enjoyable! A lot of the work is independent, more so than being a hospital ACP. ACPs and crisis response in general have a lot of independence. You’re looking after so many other team and you’re advising in the community.

You might not always work with a medical doctor, but there is always somebody at the end of the line, at the end of the phone to contact if you ever need advice.

So the fact that you’re by yourself, seeing patients, treating them, diagnosing them — that can be challenging and you’ve got to be careful with the advice because at the end of the day, they’re counting on you. This all works though because you are given responsibility and control over what happens.


What’s the work environment like?

Crisis response is an amazing place to work because it’s made up of a whole lot of other MDTs (Multi-Disciplinary Teams). So if you want to learn, crisis is the place to be! We have OTs (Occupational Therapists), we have physios, social workers, support workers and GPs that work with us.

We also have the IV team and reablement with us too, so it’s basically a whole package of holistic care for patients, which makes it so amazing. If you want to be grounded in your clinical role, I think crisis response is the best place to be.


Can you think of a time when you’ve realised the importance of the role?

All the time. Last night, for example, we had to go out to a patient who was very unwell and they were refusing to go to hospital. And that’s one of the things that we do — we see patients who are very unwell but have refused to go to hospital. We always support people to make their own choices, so we will help at home if required. On this particular occasion, we liaised with the ambulance service, as the patient could not communicate verbally if they want to go to hospital or not. They were responding with nods and the fact that the patient was not well at the time raised a lot of issues regarding capacity.

An ambulance has already been at the patient property for quite a long time, so we contacted crisis response and we took on that case to free up their time (the ambulance team) so they were able to go out and take other patients to hospital.

When we got there, we managed to get other parties involved including the team that looks after the patient in the hospital, the doctor and the family.

Through gentle persuasion, the patient was admitted into hospital, which meant that they survived. That whole process shows how this team unites and works together effectively.


Why work for the team?

What I’ve found is whenever I tell someone that I work in the community as an ACP, the first thing that comes to their mind is ‘it will be long-term disease management’. So that sometimes puts people off, but crisis response is basically AMU (Acute Medical Unit) in the community. We see exactly the same people and cases as AMU or even anecs.

And in fact, we liaise with the teams in AMU, the frailty team and even ED, so we see the same people. So if anyone was looking for an acute setting, this is as acute as it gets. Also, if anyone someone is interested in chronic disease management, we do that as well.

So it can be everything you ever wanted. If you want to deal with chronic disease management, Crisis Response is the right place to be. If you’re interested in acute management, Crisis Response is the best place to be. Because we do all of that, and more!