08/08/2018 | Press releases

Michelle Chaplin ESNEFT Commendation

Michelle with her team holding her award


While we are still in the throes of a heatwave, it’s hard to remember the snow and harsh winter of just a few months ago.

The challenging conditions that brought huge snow drifts and freezing temperatures to the region saw many team members work even harder than usual to deliver excellent care and keep services going. Michelle Chaplin, team lead of Stowmarket Community Team, was one of them.

The Tractor that Michelle usedEven though many rural parts of Suffolk were inaccessible by car, that wasn’t going to stop Michelle. She was able to borrow a John Deere tractor from her neighbour who is a farmer and collected staff from home to bring them into work, and drove nurses around the countryside to visit their patients who were not able to be reached by car due to the severe snow drifts.

She also borrowed another two tractors with volunteer drivers for other community teams so they could also fulfil their commitments to see their patients. She worked “tirelessly” to maintain morale within her team, while also ensuring the safety of her staff at all times.

Everyone in the team received an email from Michelle that week thanking them for their hard work, but without Michelle’s amazing efforts many patients would have gone without their essential nursing visits and the disruption to patient caseload was kept to a minimum.

While she said receiving the commendation was “amazing”, Michelle paid tribute to her team whose “resilience shone through” with every member pulling together, and some even coming in on annual leave to help out.

“I have never laughed so much, it was a brilliant few days. It was great to get out there and see the patients, it was a rare opportunity for me to get stuck in and do some clinical work. The patients loved it, they thought it was great fun and I think it cheered them up.”

Karen Topley, community physiotherapist, described Michelle as a “great leader” and said she is “very pleased to be working for her”

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