A Skegness therapist got on her bike to beat the Bank Holiday traffic chaos in Skegness and found she was inspiring her patients to exercise.
Shan Chapman is assistant practitioner with the assisted discharge stroke service (ADSS) at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust and provides intensive therapy to people recovering from a stroke.
She said: “Skegness is such a popular tourist attraction in the summer it often makes it difficult to get around by car.
“I enjoy cycling and had the idea to cycle in the hope that it would be quicker to get around and see more patients. I
“In the summer it can take up to 45 minutes to get around by car, but on my bicycle I can get from Skegness to Ingoldmells in 10 to 12 minutes. Safety is always first; I always follow the Highway Code and wear a helmet.
“I carry a small backpack where I store a bottle of water and my care plans.
“The Bank Holiday weekend in August was the first time I had done it. My patients have been impressed when I have arrived on my bicycle and it has made some of them want to exercise. It feels great that something as small as cycling to an appointment might have inspired them.”
With the population soaring during the summer months, the Trust has found a number of ways of coping with the challenges.
Susan Ombler, deputy director of Nursing at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said: “Regardless of the time of year, our aim remains the same – to deliver great care, close to home.
“However, our services do flex accordingly to ensure we can meet the challenges associated with seasonal pressures.
“Skegness Hospital’s Urgent Care Centre and the Out of Hours Service both experience an increase in demand during the summer months with patients experiencing minor illness or injuries and we continually review to ensure staffing is linked to predictable peaks.
“For our services delivered in patients’ own homes or in local clinics, which includes community and specialist nursing and therapy teams, they will support visitors who require their planned care to continue while they are on holiday.
“This could include patients with long term conditions who will visit the area and stay for several months in the year. Their needs could include support with medicines, wound and leg ulcer management or continence support.
“However, the greatest impact is on the roads. Increased traffic means our staff need to plan their journeys and caseloads carefully so as to minimise impact on patients.”