Ali’s story

Ali’s life has completely changed since she moved into Lang Lane – going from receiving palliative care to actively socialising in her new community.

Ali, who has learning disabilities, came to live in Lang Lane following a long stay in hospital.

Ali and her mother had planned to move into a nursing home together. Although Ali moved into the nursing home, sadly her mother passed away before she could. Ali stayed in the nursing home for four weeks before being admitted to hospital with pneumonia where she recovered and then moved back into the nursing home for two weeks but was then re-admitted to hospital with malnutrition and dehydration.

AFG Team Leader Rebecca Winstanley explained: “We completed an initial review with Ali in January 2018. In June we were told by the hospital that she had serious pressure sores which had begun in the care home. In the interim, we kept in regular contact with Ali during her stay in hospital and encouraged her family to visit Lang Lane and see if they found it suitable for Ali’s needs.”

“In June 2018, we talked to Ali’s family about moving Ali into Lang Lane. They had seen the new accommodation in May. Before that we were advised that Ali was having a gastronomy feeding tube fitted at the end of June and she would move in after this.”

A discharge meeting arranged to discuss Ali’s move from hospital to Lang Lane revealed that Ali had several pressure areas on her hip and ear. Ali was also a sepsis risk due to ill health and pressure areas. Ali had MRSA in her pressure areas, nose and groin. She developed a serious chest infection following her surgery and couldn’t be discharged from hospital until this infection had cleared.

The staff in the service had a full discussion about how they could best support Ali followed by a further discharge meeting with the hospital.

“Ali moved into Lang Lane South in September 2018. She weighed just 4 stone 7 pounds. We were advised that Ali had been placed on palliative care before coming to Lang Lane.”

“We developed comprehensive support plans with the assistance of district nurses, a physiotherapist and the learning disabilities team in Arrowe Park Hospital. We worked closely with dietic services, the infection control team and tissue viability to ensure we were caring for Ali’s pressure areas correctly, and that her nutritional and fluid needs were being met to help the healing of her pressure areas.”

The team focused on pressure care by repositioning Ali every hour initially then every two hours, resulting in a vast improvement in the pressure areas. District nurses came out daily to pack the pressure areas whilst the team repositioned Ali, ensuring that her scoliosis was cared for and the pressure areas were being maintained. They regularly reviewed care plans and adjusted according to Ali’s needs.

The Lang Lane staff worked hard in the first month to build a relationship with Ali – getting to know her well and liaising with her family.

“Ali started to regain the smile that she had lost while in hospital and her family told us that Ali was getting back to her old self. We continued to build the relationship, encouraging Ali to express herself. Every day we encouraged her to try new new activities such as painting her nails, singing songs and chatting. Ali seemed to enjoy interacting with staff and having pamper sessions. We continued to work on Ali’s sores until they had healed.”

After four months of bed rest, repositioning and social interaction, Ali’s pressure areas had completely healed.

Ali was now able to get out of bed and into a specially adapted chair. Due to weight gain, she was now too big for her moulded wheelchair. The team worked with the wheelchair centre and tissue viability to build Ali’s skin strength so that she could stay in her chair for longer. They gradually built up the time Ali could stay out of bed by 30-minute intervals until she could be out of bed for six hours daily.

Ali continued to gain in strength. Her wounds were continually monitored by staff, ensuring that the skin didn’t break down again. Ali started to interact with her house mates and build a positive relationship with others in her home.

“Ali was now able to spend time interacting with others. We contacted the wheelchair centre who arranged a new mould to be made so Ali had a wheelchair that suited her and fitted correctly. Once Ali had her wheelchair, she could access her community – calling into the local pub to meet the neighbours. Ali is extremely sociable and, with consistent support, Ali has been able to build relationships in her community. Ali now has her own car and can visit new places.”

Ali is no longer testing positive for MRSA or classed as requiring palliative care. She now weighs 7 stone 11 pounds.

“We have also been advised that if Ali gains weight at her next weigh-in then she may need to go on a diet! She has shown her own personality and now expresses how she feels and who she likes daily. Ali is the first to show if she does not like something and has cheekiness by the bucket load. Ali is a pleasure to support and has shown the staff team how resilient she is with an almost constant smile.”

Head of Operations (Liverpool City Region South) Tilly Simmons said: “The improvement in Ali’s quality of life has been nothing short of transformational. I am very proud of the dedicated support that the staff team at Lang Lane have given to Ali whose fantastic personality is now shining through.”

Ali is pictured in her new home.