A day in the life of a patient care coordinator

Kerry Watkinson

This day in the life diary is written by Kerry Watkinson, who works in our newly established Home Hospice care team as a Patient Care Coordinator.

Your donations have helped to fund this service and by supporting us, you have helped more people to die at home, if they wish to, surrounded by their loved ones.

7:30 I leave my house in the south of the county and drive to Unipart House, which takes 20 minutes this morning. Thank you, traffic!

7:50 I arrive to the office and greet my colleagues. I switch my computer on and make a coffee. While my computer warms up, it’s a good time to tell you about my team!

I have been working as a Patient Care Coordinator in the Home Hospice team for three months now. The Home Hospice service aims to provide more people with the chance to die at home, if this is their wish, and be cared for in comfort and with great support in place. The service also provides support and respite for families and carers.

8:00 I check my emails and read through handovers from the previous evening. I then check the Home Hospice team inbox for any referrals we have received. Three referrals have come through today, so I look on the EPR (Electronic Patient Records) system to find out more information about the patients and see if their referral matches our criteria.

All three referrals are suitable for our service, so I add them onto our rota. I then arrange an initial assessment for each patient, which will be carried out by one of our assessors. The initial assessment determines the number of visits a patient requires. We can provide up to four visits a day to help with personal care and other tasks, and we cover the whole of Oxfordshire and South Northants. The assessors then create a patient centred care plan, which our patient support workers use to deliver their care and support.

I call the patients and family members to inform them of the time and date of their initial assessment. I then contact our lovely admin team so they can create a patient profile and folder on our computer system.

9:30 Join a call to discuss the services capacity and the patients we are onboarding to the service.

10:00 It’s time for another coffee!

10:10 I complete tomorrow’s rotas and decide which patient support workers are covering each round. I then discuss this with the other Patient Coordinator, Janet, who looks after the north of the county, to ensure all rotas are covered. On average, we see 18 patients a day, and we have 24 patient support workers working both full-time and part-time.

11:30 Time to grab some lunch. The morning always goes by so quickly!

12:00 I join a call with the wider Home Hospice team to discuss how our patients are getting on. So far, the feedback we have received from patients and their families has been really positive. People have said that they don’t know how they would cope without us, and how caring and professional our patient support workers are.

13:30 It’s time to make a home visit. I head off to Summertown in Oxford alongside Maariyah, one of our assessors, to complete an initial assessment at a patient’s house. I only carry out initial assessments now and again when we are busy. I enjoy doing them as I love meeting the patient and their families.

Before knocking on the door, we put on our PPE (gloves, apron and mask). The door opens and we introduce ourselves and get shown inside. The first thing we do is log in to our online portal, which stores all patients’ care information, so we can complete notes while we are here.

We then explain to the patient and her family how we can support them, and what we do as a service. We also show the family how to empty the patient’s catheter as it was only fitted today, and they were unsure how to do it.

Maariyah and I place some ‘WendyLett’ slide sheets onto the patient’s bed. These are designed for easy transfers from sitting and lying positions in order to minimise discomfort. We then reposition the patient on her bed to ensure she is comfortable.

We enjoy a lovely chat with the patient and her daughter, which really does make my day. The patient has an amazing sense of humour and we all laugh a lot.

As we say goodbye, the patient’s husband comments that it was so nice to hear his wife laugh and thanks us. It’s so heart-warming to know we have made an impact today.

As we leave, we log out of the online portal and remove our PPE to dispose of it in line with policy.

15:30 Time to head home.

15:50 Arrive home, where I check my emails for a final time and catch up with Janet before logging off.

I love my job! We are an amazing team and I am so proud to be part of it and what we have achieved in just three months. I can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow.