Heart nurses see patient rise of 300%
NEW initiatives have helped a team of nurses cope with a 300 per cent increase in demand.
Community heart failure nurse specialists, based in Waterlooville, have seen the number of patients they see rise to more than 1,000 referrals a year in the past three years.
The team of five support people diagnosed with left-sided heart failure who are registered with a GP in Fareham and Gosport and south eastern Hampshire.
Left-sided heart failure is when the left ventricle is damaged and does not pump enough blood out with each heartbeat, increasing the risk of heart attack.
Over the past three years, the team has had to respond to a three-fold increase in demands for their services.
But new ways of working have helped them to cope and also make improvements to the quality and accessibility of patient services.
Trish Phillips, heart failure nurse specialist, said: ‘In the last year, the team has worked tirelessly to maximise the time spent with patients, expanding clinic provision from five to 13 clinics.
‘As part of this innovation, the nurses have been working with the Vine Medical Practice in Waterlooville to explore how a long-term condition model of care could be delivered closer to home.
‘Safer and more efficient new processes have been put in place for updating a patient’s electronic record, while at the same time the amount of administrative work facing a nurse has been considerably reduced.’
The five nurses, of whom three are full-time, are based at the Waterlooville Health Centre.
The new process of working between the Vine Medical Practice and the specialist nurses has:
n reduced a nurse’s admin time by 15 minutes for each patient – freeing up time to see more patients.
n led to patient waiting list numbers dramatically reducing and enabling patients to be seen sooner.
n enhanced efficiency – because health professionals in the GP surgery can see every consultation the specialist nurse has had with the patient.