Celebrating in style - NHS helps Ulverston lady regain independence

New roles of Care Navigators and Case Managers are proving to have a positive outcome on patient experience – and have helped one lady find the confidence to organise her 90th birthday party.

Care Navigators are a new role supporting patients and providing social interventions for those at risk of poor health. Case Managers, a new clinical role, work with patients with long term conditions to prevent unplanned hospital admissions.

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) has commended the Case Manager and Care Navigator in Ulverston for working as a team to improve the quality of life of a patient approaching her 90th birthday.

Jackie Peters, Staff Nurse from the Case Management Team, said: “The patient felt lonely, tired, short of breath and was struggling to cope. The only care in place at the time was a cleaner who called once a week. Initially she wanted information on Residential Care homes with a view to looking at a permanent residency.”

Following their visits, the staff set out a plan to improve things for the patient, which included –

• Identifying her medical needs and supporting her treatment of diuretic therapy for her conditions and informative discussions on managing her symptoms
• Her cleaner, who she had a long and trusted friendship with, agreed to collect shopping once a week and to pick up her prescriptions when they were ready.
• Nurses undertook a continence assessment to help address issues that had arisen because of her medication. This helped a great deal as the only toilet was upstairs.
• Offering various social activities run by local charities that patient could take part in.

In just a matter of weeks the patient went from requesting a permanent place in a care home to stating that her quality of life improved and she now wished to stay independent at home.

Jackie continued: “We put a personal care plan in place to remind the patient of what to do and who to contact should she get certain symptoms again. As her 90th birthday approached, she arranged with friends to hold a party at a local venue – a huge social step for her – which she enjoyed very much!”

CPFT has introduced new Case Manager and Care Navigator roles across South Lakes and Furness, including Ulverston, and we will be continuously reporting case studies from all areas in the future.