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District nurses refuse to let flood water keep them from patients

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust praises community nurses' dedication

A trust director has spoken of her pride at the response of district nurses to the needs of patients living in flood-hit York.

The city's district nurses have used dinghies to reach isolated and vulnerable patients and some went out to patients even though they were off-duty.

York and surrounding areas were badly hit by Storm Eva on Boxing Day and received a further battering from Storm Frank last week.

Over the Boxing Day weekend, one nurse contacted the fire brigade to say she had a patient who needed insulin but the patients home was on a flooded road. Firefighters took the nurse on a dinghy through the flood water to get to the patient's home, then back again.

Nurses triaged all calls into the community nursing service and anticipated potential problems. Some visits were reallocated to staff who were not on duty but better

A trust director has spoken of her pride at the response of district nurses to the needs of patients living in flood-hit York.

The city's district nurses have used dinghies to reach isolated and vulnerable patients – and some went out to patients even though they were off-duty. 

York and surrounding areas were badly hit by Storm Eva on Boxing Day and received a further battering from Storm Frank last week. 

Over the Boxing Day weekend, one nurse contacted the fire brigade to say she had a patient who needed insulin but the patient’s home was on a flooded road. Firefighters took the nurse on a dinghy through the flood water to get to the patient's home, then back again. 

Nurses triaged all calls into the community nursing service and anticipated potential problems. Some visits were reallocated to staff who were not on duty but better able to reach patients.

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust director of out-of-hospital care Wendy Scott said: ‘I’m very proud of the way staff coped in such difficult circumstances. 

‘Team work and a “we are all in it together” approach was a major contributing factor – staff pulled together to ensure patients were cared for appropriately and that the anxieties of patients and carers was minimised.’

There remain 27 flood warnings in England and Wales and heavy rain is causing serious flooding in Scotland.

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