The nursing home team that helped me fight for a ‘second life’

Trevor Quinlan was discharged to a home with weeks to live, but Patient’s Choice nominee Rekha Govindan and her team had other ideas

Rekha Govindan says she is proud to have been nominated, and of the care that her whole team gave

A man who was discharged to a nursing home with just weeks to live, but thanks to exemplary care is now happily living his ‘second life’ has nominated manager Rekha Govindan and her team for the RCNi Patient’s Choice award 2020.

Trevor Quinlan was discharged to Chegworth Nursing Home in Sutton, Surrey, from a London hospital, with a large wound in his stomach that was failing to heal.

‘Rekha and her team saved my life’

‘The hole in my stomach was 15cm - you could see the insides moving. I got an infection and was extremely ill,’ Mr Quinlan recalls.

‘My surgeon told me and my family that they couldn’t do anything more to help me and that I had one to two weeks to live. I wasn’t eating. I couldn’t walk or anything.

‘The discharge team thought Chegworth would be a place I could go and die comfortably and peacefully, but boy were they wrong. Thank God they sent me there, because Rekha and her whole team saved my life.’

Read about the rest of our Patient’s Choice finalists below, or click here to vote

A care plan to challenge the prognosis

Ms Govindan set about creating a care plan to challenge Mr Quinlan’s prognosis. ‘Rekha came up with a plan that saved my life and worked with me through everything,’ he says.

Trevor Quinlan: ‘Rekha and her team
made me want to fight and not to die’

‘She took the wound care into her hands. She even came in on the weekends to check my catheter bag and cover and make sure I was okay, even when she wasn’t meant to be working.

‘With her skill, the wound began to heal and I could take off the cover and I finally got rid of my catheter bag. With her focus on nutrition, I put on weight – I was so thin and frail before. The team helped me to get back on my feet and walk again.’

‘They filled me with hope and now I’m living a happy life’

After six months under the team’s care, Mr Quinlan had improved dramatically – the wound had shrunk to 3cm and was almost covered.

‘Chegworth built me up so much,’ says Mr Quinlan. ‘The whole team helped me become optimistic and think positively, and worked tirelessly with me on everything. When I was a little better, they took me out and put a hop in my step. I wanted pie and mash so they took me to a nice pub. I wanted to see my mum so they drove me to see her.

‘Rekha and her team even helped me to find accommodation once I was better, on the coast where I am living now.

‘They filled me with hope and made me want to fight and not to die. I was on my death bed but thanks to them now I'm living a happy life.’

‘My most complex case in 17 years of nursing’

Ms Govindan says she is proud to have been nominated by Mr Quinlan.

‘He is such a lovely man and a special patient,’ she adds. ‘Undoubtably, this was my most complex case in my 17 years working in a nursing home.

‘I am proud of the care the whole team at Chegworth delivers for our residents, and I am especially pleased that the complex care being delivered in nursing homes has been being recognised.’

Voting for the RCNi Patient’s Choice award opens on 17 August and closes at midnight on 11 September. The winner will be announced winner at a virtual ceremony later this year

Elaine Cole is RCNi special projects editor

The RCNi Patient’s Choice award is supported by Nursing Standard