Northern Health is enhancing home support by providing 24/7 care in Quesnel. As well as coverage by a team of eight people on day shift and four in the evenings, Quesnel has two community health workers (CHWs) available for overnight home support between 11 pm and 7:30 am. Overnight home support can help people come home from the hospital sooner, and also helps them live at home as long as possible.
“There’s no way I could have gone home from the hospital and stayed home for as long as I have without the nighttime visits,” says Linda, who receives home support each evening for help with personal care. “I would definitely recommend the nighttime home support to other people in Quesnel.”
As part of adding care during the overnight hours, more support was added for CHWs, as well as more predictably for their schedules. In this way, adding 24/7 care has not only had a positive impact on Quesnel home support clients, but also on Northern Health staff.
If our workload is too heavy, it’s now easier to schedule two workers, and if I have a concern about a specific client, I can contact the on–call nurse and discuss my concerns,” says CHW Wendy Miller. “I especially like that everyone has to take their turn at weekend work."
“Guaranteed hours give me peace of mind and having easy access to my supervisor and the nurses on call feels more like a team,” adds fellow CHW Laura Repetowski.
CHW Laura Bowes agrees: “If we're running late with a client, we have enough support and staffing that somebody else can step in to help. There's less pressure on us to rush the client.”
Overnight home care in Quesnel has been available since May 2023. Setting up this service called for a collaborative effort from a team of nearly 150 Northern Health staff members to help navigate and resolve risk assessments and set up new security and safety processes.
“The home support program has been an evolving community medical service that has made a tremendous impact on our ability as physicians to provide care in the right place for patients,” says Quesnel family physician Dr. Nick Jawanda. “I have seen it help prevent unnecessary admissions to hospital, and frequently it lends itself to an earlier safe discharge of patients by extending hospital-type resources into the patient’s home. Ultimately this allows our acute care beds to be utilized appropriately for patients when they need them. The nurses, managers, and other support staff that make up this program are an integral component to our local medical system by decompressing the acute care facility burden.”
Congratulations to everyone involved in setting up 24/7 home support in Quesnel! Northern Health is continuing to increase the availability of home support throughout the North by expanding hours of service up to overnight where appropriate.
Home and community care - Northern Health