Derek Grice, 67, from Mansfield, has told how community nurses at Nottinghamshire Healthcare gave him his life back after they treated his long-term condition with intravenous (IV) therapy at home, avoiding weeks in hospital.
Derek has bronchiectasis, a disease causing inflammation and chronic infections in the lungs. Treatment for his condition has meant many lengthy stays in hospital to provide intravenous (IV) antibiotics, a therapy that provides medication directly into the vein more quickly.
“I was around nine when I developed bronchiectasis,” explains Derek. “I had to cope with many things early on in life because of my condition, like missing school sports because of chest infections or being in hospital. I’ve had the disease for so long that my family and I have learned to live with it.
“At its worst I would get breathless, blood in my saliva, sweats and have morphine for the pain caused by the lung infection. Treatment for the infection would be up to three weeks of IV therapy in hospital. Although I felt better after the first few days, I had to stay in hospital for the full course of treatment. This was frustrating and I felt very depressed having to be away from my family for weeks at a time; I just wanted to get back home.”
Since October last year, Derek has received IV treatment at home from the Trust’s Intensive Home Support (IHS), which means he no longer needs to stay in hospital for his treatment. IHS delivers enhanced and intensive short-term care to support patients, primarily to remain at home or in a convalescent bed.
Advanced Nurse Practitioner Jackie Florence and the rest of the IHS team provide Derek’s IV care. Jackie said, “We give Derek IV antibiotics three times a day for up to two weeks and assess him to make sure he’s improving. He has a line inserted in his arm that we feed antibiotics through, which enables them to get into the body faster.
“Providing IV treatment in the community means patients with a more serious illness, who are normally admitted to hospital for a full course of IV treatment, can now have their follow up treatment at home. We work closely with the hospital and can refer the patient back if we have concerns about their treatment.”
“Now I have my treatment at home it’s a lot easier for me physically and I’m a lot happier mentally.” Derek says. “It means after a few days I’m back to normal and can go out and start to enjoy life, as long as I’m back for my IV treatment at lunch and in the evening. I can now spend more quality time with my family and still receive the vital treatment I need. My hospital visits were getting more frequent so to have my treatment at home has made me very happy.
“I finally have my life back thanks to Jackie and the rest of the care team. They’ve been fantastic; I can’t praise them enough.”
Intensive Home Support is by referral only and accessed through Call for Care, a system navigator for health and social care professionals run by the Trust for patients in Mansfield and Ashfield. Other pathways are in development, which will bring more patients home from hospital to have their treatment and prevent long hospital stays.
For more information on the IHS and IV therapy email Keely Sheldon, General Manager for Mansfield and Ashfield on firstname.lastname@example.org or Karen Sandy, Transformation Programme Manager – Mid Nottinghamshire and Bassetlaw on email@example.com.