Talk Health and Care

Community Working: Pros & Cons

Pros: autonomous working; flexibility; luxury of time with our patients; less pressure than acute sector; variety of cases/age ranges; ability to be able to keep patients on longer if required; longer working relationships with patients/families/relatives; ability to pick up on issues before they have escalated as see patient in own home; seeing how patient manages in own environment.

Cons: lone working; having to return to office to complete notes; difficulty parking on return wasting time; complex cases that often seem to be left for community staff to sort out; inappropriate referrals resulting in same patient being referred when no rehab potential.

What can be done to encourage more staff to want to work in community settings?

What would improve your day-to-day life working in the community?

Laptops to use at time of assessment to save time having to return to office and then write up assessment again; better mobile phones; some community parking spaces.

Navid DHSC Apr 16, 2019

Thanks for sharing your views on the advantages and disadvantages of working in a community setting.

We can see that improvements in relation to both technology and travel are key to many of the contributors to this challenge and we are exploring how we can make improvements in this area.

In terms of inappropriate referrals and your comments on complex cases, do you think that there is anything centrally we can do to help overcome these difficulties?

Occupational Therapist Apr 17, 2019

Often, referrers are unsure of the community services available or send referrals to us instead of social services, especially in regards to hoisting/specialist seating. We also receive referrals from GPs regarding the same patient when we have written discharge letters to them, stating that this patient has no further rehab potential. Families try pushing for referrals, obviously trying to do the right thing for their relative, even after the patient has been discharged from hospital with no rehab potential, or don't understand that their relative has no further potential. It's a difficult one!

Navid DHSC Apr 17, 2019

Thank you for the additional detail.