Valuing our NHS community staff

Community nurses play an essential role in providing quality and timely care to patients every day across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, and even more so now as we respond to the current Coronavirus pandemic. 

An indispensable service to all our communities in the Hywel Dda area, our community nurses provide professional advice and a comprehensive range of treatments/interventions to support local patients. This includes helping people receive care closer to home, avoiding the need to go into hospital when it’s not necessary; supporting people to manage their chronic conditions; and helping to safely transfer people back into the community after a hospital stay. They also enthusiastically embrace opportunities to improve our patients’ experience and work hard every day to deliver the highest quality, safest care possible for our local population.

Mandy Rayani, Director of Nursing, Quality & Patient Experience at Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “I’m incredibly proud of all our nursing staff here in Hywel Dda and I’m pleased that we’ve seen a lot of support for our NHS staff from the public, current and former staff and partners, as it really helps staff morale during this challenging time.

“Unfortunately, we have also received reports recently of community staff being challenged about wearing their uniform outside hospitals or other healthcare settings when undertaking their caring role and consequently they are left feeling vulnerable. I am sure that some of this challenge is due to people’s anxiety and concern for their own health and well-being, however, our community health workers are required to travel between patients in their uniform. 

“To protect themselves, their patients and the public, all our community nurses provide care and treatment in line with national infection prevention and control practices and guidelines. Whilst it is best practice for hospital-based staff to change into and out of uniforms and not wear them when travelling to and from work, this does not apply to community health workers. The evidence of an infection risk associated with the wearing of the uniform when staff follow personal protective equipment (PPE) is low.” 

Hywel Dda University Health Board continues to regularly review all PPE and other clinical guidance to ensure our population are supported in the most effective and evidence based way.

For official public information and advice about Coronavirus, visit: phw.nhs.wales/coronavirus

To protect yourself and other people:
•    wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
•    always wash your hands when you get home or into work
•    use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
•    cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
•    put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
•    try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
•    do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
If you have been asked to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people follow the self-isolation advice: phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/