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Nurse Emma and Furness Rapid Response Team are devoted to getting their patients through COVID-19

Emma Rawlinson front right with Furness Rapid Response Team

Community-based health professionals in Barrow-in-Furness are helping to protect patients from coronavirus (COVID-19) by enabling them to stay in their own homes.

Community-based health professionals in Barrow-in-Furness are helping to protect patients from coronavirus (COVID-19) by enabling them to stay in their own homes.

Emma Rawlinson, a Specialist Community Nurse with the Furness Rapid Response Service in Barrow, said, where possible, the Rapid Response team is helping patients to stay out of hospital.

Emma, who was born in Barrow, said she is proud to work for this extremely busy, dynamic and compassionate team.

In April 2020 the Furness Rapid Response Service handled 127 referrals, including patients recovering from COVID-19.

Emma said: “We help to prevent hospital admissions so our service is very important at the current time. Our patients tell us they are very relieved when they are able to stay in their own homes.

“Usually patients who have had COVID-19 are fatigued and can find themselves struggling with everyday tasks. We quickly respond to support people so they can cope at home.

“Our patients are always so appreciative of this, especially in the current circumstances. If our service was not there, patients could end up having to spend a long time in hospital because there is nobody to look after them in their home.”

Thankfully Emma and the rest of the Rapid Response Team can often ensure that people are able to stay at home.

The Rapid Response Service is made up of specialist nurses, occupational therapists, therapy assistants, admin staff and assistant practitioners who all strive to avoid hospital admissions. Shauna Leigh has been the Team Lead for the last two years.

Emma said the team also provides an intravenous antibiotics service for patients in their homes as well as nursing care and therapy support.

Emma, who has worked for the Rapid Response Service for the last three years, explained: “As we are a rapid response team, we get in there quickly and sort things out for people. If someone needs longer term care we can refer them to the appropriate services.

“We are a very close team and I absolutely love my job. It’s probably the best team I have ever worked in. We all support each other and this has been especially true during the COVID-19 situation. It’s like a family; if someone comes to work feeling stressed we will support them.

“There’s no real hierarchy in our team. We work from 8am to 8pm.We are getting through it and we are fine.”

The team works with people over the age of 18 years and tends to mainly see older adults. Team members also work closely with the Trust’s hospital teams, adult social care, District Nurses, GPs and other health and care providers.

Emma added: “I love caring for people in their own homes. We go above and beyond and it’s a pleasure for me to work in this team.

“Our patients are really appreciative of how quickly we can often sort things out. Every day is completely different. That’s what I love about the job.

“I love working with patients and get a huge amount of job satisfaction because we are keeping people at home where they want to be!”

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