Beyond the acute phase: London’s Air Ambulance appoints the UK’s first Patient Liaison Nurse for trauma patients

Wednesday, 12 February, 2014

“Understanding your injuries is the beginning of the recovery process,” says Frank Chege

London’s Air Ambulance, the charity that delivers an advanced trauma team to critically injured people in London, has appointed Frank Chege to its newly created role of Patient Liaison Nurse. The position funded by The City Bridge Trust aims to assist London’s Air Ambulance patients with their transition back to independent living, bridging the gap between the rapid on scene pre-hospital treatment that the charity is renowned for and the patient’s long term recovery. In its 25 year and having treated over 30,000 patients, the service has added another level of care for those affected by serious trauma and is encouraging anyone who has been treated by the charity to get in touch.

The position of Patient Liaison Nurse draws on the charity’s standards of clinical excellence and provides a long term interface between London’s Air Ambulance and its patients, with no equivalent elsewhere in the Capital’s emergency infrastructure. The objectives for the new role range from identifying patient needs to referring them towards a holistic suite of solutions, be it follow up medical care or support from another service provider or charity.  

Commenting, Graham Hodgkin, CEO of London´s Air Ambulance said: “London´s Air Ambulance has accumulated twenty five years’ worth of meticulously documented patient data, however our record keeping becomes more challenging post admission. Thanks to the generous donation of The City Bridge Trust, we can now support patients both through to discharge from the hospital and throughout their rehabilitation process. The Patient Liaison Nurse is not just reporting the data to the clinical team, but more importantly, and for the first time, acts as a patient advocate, providing unprecedented assistance to our patients beyond the acute phase that we specialise.”

Frank Chege has taken up the position after having worked alongside London’s Air Ambulance as an Emergency Nurse at The Royal London Hospital, run by Barts Health NHS Trust for the last seven years: “I have always wanted to be involved with London’s Air Ambulance and this opportunity allows me to draw on my clinical experience while supporting patients’ physical and psychological recovery.

“I believe that understanding your injuries is the beginning of the recovery process. Following up with our patients and their families will allow us to explain the pre-hospital medical care they received. For the first time, we have an opportunity to identify any unmet needs they might have and help them get appropriate support as well as gain accurate information on the outcomes of their treatment. My position is an extension of the clinical excellence London’s Air Ambulance delivers to the patient in the moment of their acute need – taking that extra level of care from the roadside to the bedside.”

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