• Devon Doctors' employee goes the extra mile to help surgery regular enjoy a better life

    The efforts of a member of staff at Devon Doctors’ Clock Tower surgery have had a dramatic effect on the life of a vulnerable 56-year-old man.
    Practice manager Rachael Hallam went beyond the call of duty when her role brought her into contact with the man, some 12 months ago, and it soon became apparent he was not getting the support he needed and, moreover, was entitled to.
    “He’d been a patient at the Clock Tower, on and off, for a number of years,” recalled Rachael.
    “However, it was only when we sat down for a chat that I became aware just how vulnerable and needy he was.
    “Further enquiries revealed he’d been passed around between various services and agencies, over some considerable time, with no-one prepared to take responsibility for his welfare.”
    It was quickly apparent he had a number of health concerns, as well as  social issues and housing problems. He had been assessed many years ago by several different agencies with no outcome or result.
    After Rachael had raised her concerns, a multi-agency meeting was arranged and attended by representatives of the Mental Health Trust [MHT], the Clock Tower’s practice nurse and Exeter City Council.
    As a result of this meeting, MHT agreed to assess the patient. Initially he was reluctant to attend any such assessment but with some persuasion and Rachael offering to chaperone him it went ahead.
    When it was determined that the patient’s problems weren’t the preserve of MHT,  Rachael proceeded to contact the social care team with a view to establishing whether the patient had learning disabilities. 
    A further multi-agency meeting was held with the social care team, the practice nurse and a Citizen’s Advice Bureau worker, who had known the man for many years.
    As a result of this meeting, social services acknowledged that they could offer some support and a three-month assessment plan with an enabler was put into place. As a consequence of this, they will be offering the patient some weekly support for general chores.
    At the same time, a meeting with Key Ring secured further flexible top-up support on a daily basis.
    During the social care team assessment period, Rachael liaised with the CAB worker and the city council  to assess the patient’s current housing status and benefits entitlement.
    This revealed that his housing was not fit for his needs and also that there were a number of benefits to which he was entitled but were not being claimed.
    Happily, the man is not only going to be rehoused but Rachael and the CAB worker secured him a considerable sum in back-paid benefits.

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    Devon Doctors Ltd and its subsidiaries Access Health and Access Dental are social enterprises. We exist to benefit the communities we serve. We’re run by healthcare professionals, owned by GP practices, and don’t have any stakeholders. Any profits we might make are used to improve our services.

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