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Delivering best care, building healthy communities

In a typical 24-hour period, Birmingham Community Healthcare’s district nursing teams make around 2,500 visits – personalised care and support in homes across the city, easing pressure on acute hospitals. After receiving several regular home visits for wound care, retired bus driver John Charnock can’t praise his “fantastic” district nursing team enough…

Since finding his mobility much reduced, John Charnock has understood very well the value of being able to receive nursing care close to home.

Patient John Charnock and community HCA Janet Drevey

 When the retired bus driver first noticed ulceration on his left leg, his GP advised him to go to the day surgery at Birmingham City Hospital.“

I was worried what was going to happen,” said John.

“I certainly didn’t want to have to go into hospital; but I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to cope on my own at home.”

To his relief, John was referred into the care of BCHC’s citywide community nursing service.

“It was a big relief when the nurses started making regular visits,” said the 84-year-old.

“If you have any worries, it’s reassuring to know it won’t be long before you receive expert care and attention again.

“I can honestly say the district nursing team has been absolutely brilliant. They put you at ease and always communicate with you so you know exactly what’s going to happen.”

As part of the district nursing team based at Finch Road health centre in Lozells, healthcare assistant Janet Devey has become a frequent and reassuring visitor at the retirement village apartment John moved to six years ago following the death of his wife Evangeline.

“Mr Charnock is a good example of a patient who can receive the care he needs in his own home – and, like most people, he would much rather that than have to stay in hospital,”  said Janet.

“So to start with we were visiting every day and, more recently, every other day for regular wound care and we do regular baseline assessments and observations such as blood pressure and temperature as well.

“If I had any concerns, I would send them directly to Mr Charnock’s GP. And, as a district nursing team, we discuss every patient on each nurse’s list at every daily handover meeting.”

With the nurses’ continuing help, John has set himself a target of getting back behind the wheel of his adapted mobility car and regaining some independence.

“I’m a big fan of Queen and can’t wait to see the Bohemian Rhapsody film,” he said.

“So I want to get out and about while it’s still on at the cinema. With the help of Janet and her colleagues, I feel I’m heading in the right direction.”

Janet's career began in community nursing in 1982. After a six-month spell as a phlebotomist at Sandwell Hospital, she found she was missing the daily engagement with patients’ lives and returned to work in ‘the community’, providing care, compassion and reassurance in people’s home across Birmingham ever since.