16/09/2020 | Press releases

‘The Call 4 Concern phone line saved my Mum’s life’

Friends or family worried about their loved one’s condition while in hospital can ring the Call 4 Concern service for support.

The Call 4 Concern service is available for anyone receiving care at Ipswich or Colchester hospitals and their families who may be concerned the patient’s condition is deteriorating or they feel “something isn’t quite right”.

Family members, or the patient themselves, can ring the dedicated telephone number to access the service. Once alerted, the Critical Care Outreach Team will visit the patient at their bedside, make assessments and potentially changes to their treatment or speak to the ward staff about the worries.

Families who have used the service said it’s been lifesaving and extremely reassuring at a difficult time.

One user of the service said she was worried about her Mum after she was admitted to an ESNEFT hospital with a dead appendix and sepsis.

She went on to explain: “Mum was less than 24 hours from surgery, her observations were starting to go in the wrong direction, and I needed reassurance that Mum was in safe hands.”

Although she said she wasn’t aware of Call 4 Concern at the time, she rang the hospital switchboard and was put through to the team, who then assessed her Mum.

She added: “Within 15 minutes, a member of the team – Sue – had visited the ward and spoken with my parents. Sue listened to my concerns and was instantly calm, understanding and reassured me that she would visit Mum. My Dad and I felt a huge worry had been lifted and that Mum would now be in safe hands.

“Mum felt very grateful that the team had saved her life.”

Members of the team are based at both Ipswich and Colchester hospitals so are able to reach a patient very quickly. Lisa Booth, Critical Care Outreach Practice Educator & Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Deteriorating Patient who is one of the leads who runs the service said the service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for anyone who feels something isn’t going quite right with their care or there are worries about how the patient is responding to treatment.

Although it may feel worrying questioning the treatment someone is receiving, Lisa said staff are fully supportive of it and welcome any input.

She added: “Sometimes family members just know something isn’t quite right. They see a change in their loved one that maybe a clinician hasn’t seen.

“The Critical Outreach Team would always speak to the ward staff first and then give a ‘top to toe’ assessment of the patient. They cover all bases and ask all the questions from what they look like, what they’re eating and drinking and whether they’ve been to the toilet.

“The service doesn’t step on toes, it’s not about pointing a finger at what has or hasn’t been done, it’s about working as a team.”

ESNEFT story

Lisa Booth, Critical Care Outreach Practice Educator & Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Deteriorating Patient, is one of the leads who runs the service

Patient Paul Fenton, also the Director of Estates and Facilities at ESNEFT, was very poorly with acute necrotising pancreatitis, requiring months of medical care at Ipswich Hospital. Paul, and his wife Nicola, used the Call 4 Concern service when they were worried about Paul’s condition. He said they named the Call 4 Concern team member as ‘the angel Anna’.

“The service is invaluable” said Paul. “It gave Nicola the confidence and comfort at a time when I was very poorly, just to ask additional questions or gain more clarity on my condition.”

The father-of-three and grandfather-of-seven added: “It meant a lot to have someone explain what was happening or what my medical notes or treatment actually meant. Just having someone go through it with Nicola really helped reassure her.”

Patients themselves, a friend or family member can call the service if they would like additional support from the team or one of the clinicians to come and give another assessment around care or treatment.

Patients or families can contact the team at Ipswich Hospital on 01473 712233 and ask for bleep 732.

 Patients or families can contact the team at Colchester Hospital on 01206 747474 and ask for bleep 247

 If there are concerns around other issues of hospital care, such as beds, food, rooms, parking or the care received, patients or families can call PALS, the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01473 704781 for Ipswich or 01206 742683 for Colchester.

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