Working in Community Response

Julia's Story

Interview with Julia, Crisis Response Team

Hello! Who are you?

“I’m Julia and I’m an Advanced Clinical Practitioner. I’m an Allied Health Professional and I’m a Physiotherapist on the Crisis Response team in South Manchester and ACP as well for the whole of Manchester Community Response — because we have quite a broad remit!”


How long have you been here?

“I came as a trainee in September 2018, and I basically switched from being 20 years in Specialist Falls Management and day Hospital work to taking on the trainee advanced clinical practitioner role in crisis response. So it was a huge leap!”


What would you say attracted you to work within this team?

“I come from a background of complex health rehabilitation and falls management… I’ve always been a generalist specialist, as it were. I’d worked in community before, many years ago, and elements of my job over the years had involved community. As part this, I helped set up some services including the community fall service. There came a decision on where my roles might go and it just felt right to come to the community!”


What’s community-based work like and what are the challenges? 

“A community setting is a fabulous setting to work in because you’re in patients’ homes. Patients want care closer to home for a variety of reasons. Some can’t leave the house and even some can, it makes more sense to deliver that care closer to home.

You see, people are more open to change and you can make more of a tailored personalised plan because you can see them in their own environment. It makes huge difference. It’s really good.

It is challenging, but it’s varied. You get to see all different conditions; you get to learn something new every day. There are lots of good things. It’s challenging because obviously, you can’t always control things quite so easily in the home setting, but that in itself brings excitement each day.

So you don’t know what you’re going to come into. If you like an unexpected feeling in the day, this is perfect. But then a lot of it is planned too and you see common themes. So anyone coming in gets to use all their different skills and it’s great for development because the structure in the community is such that they develop their own teams and there’s lots of scope for building your own personal development as well as service development.”


How does an average day in the community go for you and the team?

“Well, I love my job and I love the team that I work in.

We all work collaboratively and, daily, we have perfect examples of how we can make a difference on the shop floor with our teams. I think from a patient care point of view, we’re regularly getting really good feedback and feeling like we’ve made a difference.

For example, the other day we had a patient who was referred to us by community physio who had actually been referred to them by one of the GPs, and they felt that there was a therapy need because the patient was stuck on the sofa at home and was really struggling. The patient’s partner was struggling too and so they were in a bit of a pickle.

We were able to go out and within 2 hours, assess them to see what they needed. A lot of it was reassurance and giving them the confidence to functionally improve and give them the steps to get him from the point where he was sleeping on the sofa to getting back upstairs and going out to the shops. This all happened within the space of week!

It turned out that the patient was also unwell with some further medical issues, but because our working approach is so collaborative, we were able to link him with the GP quickly.

The GP was really responsive and members from across the team came with me to deal with different elements of care. We sorted out medication issues, we referred them to community therapy and we dealt with so many other issues right there together. It was just a really good integrated and collaborative visit.

Then at the end of it, we got the most amazing friends and families responses, which we weren’t expecting. They were so complimentary and the whole team were delighted.

That’s a really nice example, but we get examples all the time of multidisciplinary team working where the whole team adds to the patient’s care. We have really good outcomes, certainly in Crisis and across the floor in Discharge to accesses and IV team home pathway. So it does work very well.”


Why join the team?

“Personally, I love working in crisis and community. Having worked in all aspects of the hospital and outpatients, as well as different elements of care — because I’ve been in the health service for 30 years and I’ve also worked in overseas in New Zealand — I would say this is a superb place to work. It is challenging, you will be busy at times, but it’s a supportive team, there’s loads of scope for development and you’ve got a really good structure for supporting staff with education and building new competencies. So even if you don’t have all the competencies for community, we can help you with on-going support and supervision.

This is a very collaborative, friendly team and I think it is the place to be!

It’s a place that’s got a high level of development and if you think about the government and future health plans, it’s the up and coming area to work.”