Greg Ashley-Buck and Becky Groves
Farnborough Paramedic Practitioners
Greg and Becky joined Salus to provide a home visiting service to the 7 GP practices in Farnborough, one of the 5 localities that Salus Medical Services covers. Here’s a flavour of their work – and their personalities.
Tell us a bit about the job you do.
Greg: Originally we were employed to provide home visits for the Farnborough GP surgeries, but the job has developed into much more since. We’re tasked with trying to reduce unplanned hospital admissions where it’s in a patient’s best interests – it’s sometimes described as admission avoidance. Visiting a patient in their home and following them up later is an effective way of doing that. Our caseload doesn’t just come from GPs now; ambulance staff, SPA (the single point of access team who refer clinical service requests to the right community team) and the Farnborough Integrated Care Team (ICT) also refer cases directly to us. Most of the patients we look after are, or have been, supported by the ICT. We work as a team to avoid duplicating visits and to ensure the most appropriate Health Care Professional visits the patient. Becky sits in on ICT meetings to give and get updates on patients weekly, so their care is joined up with other services. We also set up advanced care plans to support them if an ambulance is called. Our knowledge and experience of social needs and the connection to other teams means we can ensure a patient’s holistic needs are met.
What made you want to join Salus Medical Services?
Becky: For me it was being community based and an opportunity to work jointly with other disciplines to provide appropriate care and support for patients.
Greg: For both of us, it’s a job that allows us to use our full range of skills and autonomy, which wasn’t always possible in our former jobs. The first Paramedic Practitioner employed by Salus Medical Services in Yateley (Frank) has been a great advocate for what we as Paramedic Practitioners can do in primary care, although the set up in the Farnborough locality has been quite different to the Yateley model due to the different demographic. In this locality we’ve had a chance to build good relations with staff at care homes, and St Johns Court care assisted flats. Staff will call one of us first rather than an ambulance where appropriate because they know we have that extra information that could help keep their residents safely out of hospital.
Becky: What is really nice is that we knew each other in the ambulance service and even before then, so working together is very easy.
What’s the highlight of your working week?
Greg: There is always a success story. Avoiding a hospital admission when you know that, historically, they would have ended up going in; getting someone the support they need to stay independent and safe at home; and we love feeling part of a team, not just a number on a crew sheet, which has happened in other jobs.