The Community Cardiology Service is one of the finalists for the Community Provider of the Year award, organised by the Health Services Journal (HSJ), one of the leading healthcare publications.
As you can imagine, we are enormously proud to have been selected from over 1,000 applicants. The judging panel was made up of highly respected individuals in the healthcare community including Sir Bruce Keogh, former medical director of the NHS.
The award entry focussed on the way we responded to the Coronavirus pandemic to ensure that there was no interruption to our service during lockdown. We achieved this by managing our patients mainly in the safety of their own homes. Our doctors carried out their consultations by telephone and video and the Cardiographers, who fit the devices to monitor heart activity, set up a home visiting service.
During lockdown around 200 patients had a heart monitor fitted at home, enabling the doctors to diagnose the problem and advise on appropriate treatment. Without the home service these patients would not have had their condition diagnosed without beingn admitted to the already overburdened Cardiology unit at the hospital.
We asked patients for feedback about their experience and 100% said that it was convenient and safe to have the heart monitor fitted at home.
One patient commented: “I was very pleased to have my heart monitor fitted at home, this was very helpful and safe. Thank you.”
100% patients agreed that it was reassuring to have a trained Cardiographer to fit the monitor and explain how it works.
“The fitting of the monitor by two very kind nurses went well, they explained everything to me and I have had no problems.”
The Cardiographers have been welcomed into patients’ homes and have often been told that they are the first people that the patient has seen face-to-face since lockdown began in March.
Lead Cardiographer Debbie McIvor said: “Patients find it reassuring when we arrive dressed in PPE and welcome us into their homes. Many of them have not seen or spoken directly to another person for weeks and they genuinely appreciate a trained health professional showing them how the monitor works and what it tells us about their heart health. I feel our service is much more than simply fitting a monitor.”
Dr Matt Jackson, Cardiac GPwSI and managing director of The Community Cardiology Service said: “Everyone has worked so hard to make sure that we kept the service up and running during this really challenging time and I’m extremely proud that our efforts have been recognised. We’ll find out next March whether we win the title but being shortlisted is already a huge achievement.”