A DEDICATED doctor who has been caring for the people of Inverclyde throughout the pandemic has been nominated for the Tele’s Healthcare Hero Awards.
Belfast-born consultant Paul Coulter has been using his almost 20 years of medical experience to offer palliative care in the local community.
The medical professional has been working here since last January within the community, at Inverclyde Royal and Ardgowan Hospice to meet the needs of dozens of patients.
The 42-year-old commutes from Newcastle every week.
At the start of the pandemic he was separated from his beloved family for 10 weeks whilst he provided round-the-clock care for patients.
His efforts prompted colleague and fellow Ardgowan Hospice doctor David Lynch to put him forward for the Palliative Carer of the Year accolade in our awards.
Paul said: “I’m so chuffed to be nominated, I actually didn’t believe David at first when he told me.
“It was so nice of him to go out of his way to do that and it means so much to me.
“In my role I always try to be open and honest and what you see is what you get.
“The door is always open and patient care is at the forefront of all I do.”
Paul, who lives with wife Amanda and children Ellie, 15, Cole, 10, and six-year-old twins Roan and Eden, has been spending his time at Ardgowan Hospice building a specialist team.
He told the Tele: “It was very hard starting when I did and a shockingly difficult situation – my wife was shielding, so not getting to see her or the family for 10 weeks was terrible.
“I threw myself into work here and I oversee all specialist palliative care at the hospice and within the community.
“I’m trying to make the hospice nurse-led.
“I always try and give the team their own autonomy whilst teaching them and help them by sharing things I have learned in my own career.”
Paul has trained and worked all over the country, including at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at Gateshead and in Inverness.
His long-term plan is to move to Scotland with his family and he says Inverclyde is full of ‘the friendliest people’.
Paul added: “The people are absolutely brilliant here, the Scots are a great bunch.
“I’m really trying to make a difference and genuinely believe in my work and want to do what I can for the community.
“I’m trying to make positive changes and I appreciate being recognised on this level.”
Nominations for the Greenock Telegraph Healthcare Hero Awards are open until March 31.
To put someone forward visit bit.ly/38Pmj5A