At around 1:30pm the health of Doreen a 97 year old lady had begun to deteriorate rapidly. The care team on numerous occasions during that week had called for Doreen’s GP to see her and had called him out again that afternoon as her condition was notably worse since the last visit. The GP advised the care workers that he wanted Doreen to be admitted to hospital, his view was that she was unlikely to live past another 24hrs.

Emma, an experienced care worker with Merseycare Julie Anne and a new care worker, who was on her very first shadowing shift waited for paramedics to arrive. During the wait for the ambulance, Nicola, another care worker arrived to take over from Emma and to sit with Doreen. While they waited for the ambulance the care workers tried to contact Doreen’s next of kin to inform them of the situation. Whilst they managed to contact Doreen’s daughter who lives in the south of the country they could not contact her son, who also had control of Doreen’s finances.

The ambulance arrived around 4:50pm and after speaking to Doreen’s daughter a decision was made  that it was It was in her best interest that she was taken to hospital. The paramedic attending informed the care workers that it was unlikely she would survive another 24 hrs and that if she did she would probably contract covid-19 as the hospital was currently full with Covid positive patients.

As everyone attending to Doreen believed that she would not be retuning home, the care team dressed her in her favourite clothes and did her hair and makeup to make her feel good and to reassure her.  While the ambulance crew waited for Doreen they made the ambulance as comfortable as possible for and put some nice music on in the background to make her final journey as comfortable and relaxing  as possible.

Doreen left her property at approximately 5:20pm that evening. Everyone involved in her care that afternoon had gone out of their way to make her final journey as comfortable as possible. Even at a time of national crisis, which is impacting on NHS and social care services locally, the ambulance crew and staff of Merseycare Julie Ann all took the time to ensure that this 97 year old lady left her property looking her best and was as comfortable as possible on her final journey to the hospital.

Feedback received later from the attending paramedic team was that they recognised how caring and amazing the care staff had been in their support of Doreen.  Equally the care team where also complimentary of the ambulance crew about how they too had made time for Doreen, despite the enormous pressure on the service at this time.


All names have been changed to protect the privacy of clients and staff.

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