Working in Community Response

Jeremy's Story

Interview with Jeremy, Crisis Response Team

Name and title?

“I’m Jeremy. I’m one of the senior healthcare support workers for the Crisis response team.”


How long have you been here?

“I’ve been there since it started, so I’ve come up through four years, virtually. I’ve seen it grow. This is my third home in four years and we’re moving soon again soon.

All the teams, together under one roof is amazing though. You can network and share referrals. It just works.

The District Nurses are upstairs as well and they often pop down. It’s all quite friendly!”


What is your background?

“I worked at Stepping Hill, for about two years. I worked in A&E (Accident & Emergency) and AMU (Acute Medical Unit).

Prior to that, I worked for an advertising agency. For 15 years in Manchester as a creative artworker. But it’s a young man’s game. After leaving I went back to college (Stockport College) again. I did level one, two and three courses, got some volunteer work for the NHS and then worked in the Acquired Brain Injury Unit for five years, supporting young men who’ve been in car crashes and had traumatic experiences. I did that for five years and then moved on to the NHS as the next progression.

Now, I’ve just been accepted onto NWAS (North West Ambulance Service) now as an apprentice doing an emergency medical technician role. So that will lead me to becoming a paramedic — That’s the aim!”


What attracted you to the role?  

“I found out about this role (in community response) through a nurse associate when I was working a Stepping Hill. She worked in the Stockport crisis response team and then lo-and-behold a patient came in with a daughter who had set up the Stockport service. Through communication and self-research, I found out a lot about the service and discovered they work alongside the ambulance service. I thought ‘well that’s where I want to go eventually.’ So I decided that it’d be a great career step for me.

It’s quite frontline. It’s dealing with sometime difficult situations as well which interests me. That’s why I got some experience in A&E as well because I wanted gain skills and knowledge to utilise in the future, as I am with now with this team. Hopefully, I’ll continue this in the next steps of my career.”


What’s it like in a community setting?

“You’ve got to be prepared for many different scenarios. Normally an initial assessment can be an hour. That’s what we normally try and facilitate but that can end up for about 3 hours or so on. Some days I may have 12 visits, some days I may just have two.

If there aren’t many visits in a day, I’ll offer my services to the IV Team because I can do cannulas and bloods etc. I never want to sit down, wasting time so I’ll make myself available across all teams… I’m actually doing some calls for DTA (Discharge to Assess) shortly!”


Challenges and rewards?

“I think one of the biggest challenges, is probably the emotional side of it for staff. It can be difficult to switch off because we care about patients, but I guess that just shows the passion that comes with it.

I don’t have this job to be rewarded. The service is great at doing that though and since I’ve been here I’ve had a number of excellence reports. Crisis have increasingly become involved with palliative care too and so we may get nominated by Macmillan or a family member and Diane (our service lead) will come out and give a speech and it’s really nice. We make an effort within the team.”


What’s a good day like?

“Having good outcomes with patients is obviously great because we are, in many ways, an ‘admissions avoidance team.’ We work so hard to keep people out of hospital and that is not easy. So good outcomes mean a lot.

It’s also nice that the team talk and supports each other. We can stop off for a coffee and have a chat. It’s important to keep morale up and we have a really good team here that is capable of doing that.”


Why join and what would your advice be for new starters?

“You have to be patient and slow to start off with but it will pay off. The person should research the role — understand what they’re getting into and who they’re working with. Learn what OTs do and what Physios do. Understand that this is multidisciplinary background.

Be patient, inquisitive, and start asking questions when out on visits. When you start, you will go out with ACPs, GPs, social workers, it’s great experience. So be patient at the start, persevere, stick it out, give it a couple of years and then if you want to move up and progress, you can.

I’m quite knowledgeable now and that’s all part of the team environment.

You are thinking on your feet and have to be ready for virtually anything because every day is different. In a good way though — be prepared for the unexpected!

Every day is different. It keeps you on your feet.”