Julie Barrett, a driver for Well Pharmacy, arrived at the home of one of the patients at Well’s Lodgeside Surgery branch in Kingswood near Bristol, South Gloucestershire last week (November 17), to find the patient on the floor having fallen and cut her arm and hand.
Ms Barrett, who was delivering the patient’s monitored dosage system (MDS) told C+D last week (November 18) that she arrived at the house of the patient – a woman in her 80s – at around 10.30am. "I asked how long she'd been on the floor and she said she didn't know,” Ms Barrett said.
It was fortunate that she was delivering the MDS tray on that day because the elderly lady could otherwise have been “on the floor all morning” until the arrival of her carer just before lunch, she added.
"The lady couldn't get to the door. Usually she's sat in a chair, but I found her on the floor. I couldn't pick her up, but we managed to get her leaning against her chair [although] her hand and arm were bleeding quite badly," Ms Barett said. The patient told her she was faint and did not feel quite right, she added.
"I was worried she might go into shock"
After pressing an alarm button in the patient’s house, Ms Barrett was told paramedics would be called and that, if she did not have time to stay until they did, she could “leave the door open for the paramedics”.
“But I couldn't leave her in that state, she was woozy," Ms Barrett said. Finding a number for the patient’s son on the wall and phoning him, Ms Barrett waited with the patient until the son arrived, at which point the paramedics had yet to reach the house.
While she did not have anything to hand for the patient’s injury, which had stopped bleeding and started to form a wound, “I kept my eye on it”, she added.
"I was worried she might go into shock. So I was talking about anything to her,” Ms Barrett said of the time spent waiting. “She was talking about the war and her family and I was talking about my family and what I do at the weekend. It was chitchat really, keeping her awake and occupied.”
The patient apologised for “putting [me] out”, while the son thanked her "very much" for waiting with his mother when he arrived, Ms Barrett said.
While it did put her behind schedule for her appointments later in the day, Ms Barrett said she would not have done anything different. "You can't leave [someone] when they're like that."
Having been a driver for Well in the South Gloucestershire area for eight years, she feels she and her colleagues “do make a difference”, Ms Barrett said.
Ms Barrett was praised for her efforts on social media by Sadik Al-Hassan, pharmacy manager at Lodgeside Surgery branch.
So #proud of the amazing work yesterday from our #driver Julie @wellpharmacy #Lodgeside who on arriving at patient MT's house found her delirious and bleeding.— Sadik (@Sadik4Pharmacy) November 18, 2020
Julie sprang into action and summoned help. She calmed MT and waited with her till help arrived.
Well done Julie! pic.twitter.com/NazhGN1DCh