Posted: Friday 13th May 2022
Have you ever wondered what the remarkable team in the control room of Herts Careline experience whilst on duty? Then walk a night in the life in the footsteps of a Herts Careline control room operator. They work tirelessly around the clock taking medical emergency calls from residents across the whole of Hertfordshire.

Residents who join the service have access to fall detectors, smoke alarms and wellbeing monitors, as well as a pendant alarm, depending on their needs. This is an emergency button worn around their neck or wrist and enables them to dial through to Careline’s 24/7 control room.

Whilst the residents of Hertfordshire are sleeping, there’s a night shift team of emergency Careline Call Operators awake and waiting to provide emergency help if needed. One member of the night team is Lesley, and here she takes you through her ‘night’ in the life.

“As a Careline Operator, my role covers the night shifts from 11pm until 7am. I’ve been in my role coming up for eighteen years. We take a wide range of calls ranging from accidental presses when in bed, to life-threatening emergencies. Our goal is to always ensure the wellbeing of our residents and no matter what the issue is through the night, and we are always sympathetic to their needs.”
“Some of our residents just need a friendly word and a bit of reassurance where others need medical attention for more serious situations. When we have had serious medical issues with a person, staying on the line giving that reassurance to them while waiting for the emergency services is something that just comes naturally to us. You can be that one voice which is trying to keep them calm in situations which can be frightening for them.”

“The most recent call that has stayed with me was a lady having chest pain and I stayed on the call reassuring her whilst we waited for the ambulance to arrive. She was taken to hospital and when she came home ten days later after a heart operation, she telephoned me to thank me for staying with her until help arrived. Her comments and gratitude made my day.”

“During the night shifts, most of our calls are emergencies and we are the first port of call for these people. Myself and all my fellow call operators always do our best for those who need us.”

During a 24-hour day the team at Herts Careline can take up to 1,500 calls and a third of these could be life critical calls.