Patient admits he ‘would have given up a long time ago’ without Inclusion Healthcare

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Practice Nurse Tracey Watts

For Daniel, a 48-year-old homeless patient who we have supported on and off for nearly six years, the nurses he sees do so much more than just change the dressings on his badly wounded legs.

Without them, he says, he “would have given up a long time ago” but he is now hoping to don a pair of shorts this summer for the first time in years, thanks to the efforts that have been made to care for both his legs and his wellbeing.

Daniel was first supported by our staff after being released from prison. He had severe leg ulcers due to intravenous drug use, which got so bad at one point that he was asked to leave a bus because of complaints about the smell.

He said: “My legs impacted on everything. I was very conscious of how I looked, and the smell. When I was asked to get off the bus and left in the middle of nowhere, I cried for an hour.”

After 20 years of drug addiction and being in and out of prison, Daniel is now one of our regulars, visiting three times a week to get his dressings changed.  

With support from our team, he “can now see light at the end of the tunnel” and says the relationship he has developed with staff has helped to get him to the most stable period in his life for a long time.

Daniel said: “Everyone needs someone to talk to. The nurses here have been my agony aunts. They don’t judge me and speak to me like a normal person – they have done right by me for five years.”

Healthcare Assistant Tracey Jones said: “The state of Daniel’s legs can affect his whole mood and demeanour. There have been days when he almost had to crawl in here.

“We’ve never seen his legs looking as good as we have now. This is the most settled we’ve seen Daniel. He’s got a place now at a hostel for the long-term homeless and he looks well and he’s eating well. I think moving to the hostel has had the biggest impact and I know he’d like to have his own place eventually.

“Daniel likes normality and banter – we never lecture him. He classes us as family and he tells us things he wouldn’t tell anyone else. He looks forward to coming in and the routine helps him, and the continuity of seeing the same three faces.”

Tracey said if Daniel does miss an appointment, she will always make sure she sees him when she can, so that the treatment of his legs continues. 

She said: “It’s been up and down for Daniel but when his legs started to heal, I think that was a turning point. If I haven’t seen Daniel for a while, I want to see him and see how he’s getting on. For a wound to heal like that after so long is amazing.”

Practice Nurse Tracey Watts added: “We are very protective of Daniel’s legs and I feel so proud of him. 

“The difference here is how patients are treated – they have to be treated differently because they are more complex. If we don’t deal with an issue there and then, there’s a risk they may not come back. You also have to be flexible, and see people as and when they come in.”

Tracey Jones agreed, saying that to build that all-important trust with patients, staff just have to be “normal people”, with no sense of hierarchy.  

We now provide Daniel with drug treatment support, in partnership with Turning Point, demonstrating how our organisation provides a ‘one-stop shop’ to deliver comprehensive care. 

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