15/12/2017 - Permalink

Blog: Keep calm and carry on caring

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One of our adult social care managers, Ann Ashley from START, stops for a brief moment to reflect on the past week:-

From the outset of the severe cold weather front we all experienced over last weekend and into this week, our adult social care team have made a huge effort to ensure our most vulnerable across the county remain safe and well.

START, otherwise known as the Short Term and Reablement Team, is part of a multi-disciplinary team which aims to provide support to older people, those with a physical disability, or adults with mental health issues. The team also support people who need assistance due to a presenting illness to enable them to continue living as independently as possible in the community rather than being admitted into hospital.

From driving through severe snow and ice, to taking to walk on foot, our START colleagues, with the help of local police and fire officers, have battled the elements going above and beyond their call of duty to reach those in need of support.

Since last Friday our workers have been working tirelessly amid what’s been very harsh conditions to ensure all calls and visits were undertaken and that vulnerable residents were warm and had plenty of food and fluids available. Our support workers also made sure that those with pendant alarms had them ready to hand, just in case of an emergency.

One colleague covering calls in Bridgnorth drove through heavy snowfalls and severe icy conditions every day to reach a vulnerable gentleman to ensure he had his usual daily calls. Although the road leading to the gentleman’s house had been inaccessible, our START worker with the help of the local fire service (and their 4-wheel drive) on the one occasion, managed to get to the gentleman in the mornings, afternoons and evening to make sure he had hot meals and drinks.

Whilst most of the team were up and running, some staff members on duty were completely snowed in, so many of our colleagues on leave volunteered to step in to ensure business ran as usual. We also liaised with some families who were happy to help out and provide support where they could, to prevent any potentially dangerous travel. Our START worker in the north west also volunteered to help her colleague in the county’s central region by visiting her clients to save her having to drive in the bad weather.

In addition to our regular visits we responded to families in distress and supported their loved ones to help avoid them being admitted into hospital.

The past week has evidently presented us with a few challenges. However, we know we can rely on our team, and it’s very heartening and reassuring that at times like this not only our team but everyone in the community chipped in to help. We did have trouble reaching a vulnerable client who wasn’t responding to calls, so enlisted the help of the local police to check on her to ensure she was safe and well

We are truly grateful to both West Mercia Police and Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service who arranged for a 4 x4 to help us get to our clients.

It was  fantastic teamwork from all the staff on duty over the three days, but those who went over and above were: Karen Williams, Jackie Garrett, Doreen Petford, Neville Corbett and Tim Browne

We would like to say that we are proud of how everyone pulled together during what was very harsh weather conditions and thank everyone for their support.

For more information about START and what we do in adult social care visit www.shropshirechoices.org.uk.

For information on how to stay safe and well this winter visit https://shropshire.gov.uk/stay-safe-and-well-this-winter/