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Richard: the superhero without a cape

Known locally as ‘the superhero without a cape’ Reading-based support worker Richard Kibaja, has, like so many of our support staff, gone above and beyond during the Covid-19 crisis.

Richard Kibaja

A recent example was when Richard advocated on behalf of a gentleman we support, PH, with a GP when he felt he wasn’t getting the medical attention he deserved. A nurse had been to visit PH at home and advised Richard he needed to make a face-to-face appointment with his GP.  So Richard called the GP’s surgery and waited for the call back.

After explaining the health problem to the GP on the phone appointment, he was told he would be sent a link to upload photos, rather than being offered an in-person appointment.  Richard was not pleased with this and responded, “Well, with all due respect I think you are asking me to do your job. Obviously, the nurse has seen PH face-to-face, with PPE of course, and she concluded you need to see PH as well. I am personally in a BAME group and very vulnerable and I still support daily and around the clock vulnerable people. And you are sitting in the office with full PPE and don’t want to see a person who really needs your help.”

The GP then went silent, asked for Richard’s manager’s details before booking a face-to-face appointment for the next day.

Richard phoned his line manager, Locality Manager Mirna Zestic, and reported himself in case the GP logged a complaint, who told Richard “well done.”

The GP subsequently phoned Mirna to express his admiration of Richard and to apologise.