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British Heart Foundation
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Community heart failure services

Hi, I am a community heart failure nurse and am interested in developing our existing service further. Do any of you access your local community heart failure service? Is it a good service? What are the positive aspects of your service? Many thanks.

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I use the Heart Failure Nurse service in Grampian, it is excellent. I have a Nurse contact who I can phone and ask questions, and whom I have total confidence in. What do I as the patient get out of the system is continuity. I have seen 4 different Cardiologists in my last 4 hospital visits. but my Heart Failure Nurse is a constant and she gives me confidence. She also titrates my medication up and down so I don't need to seethe GP very much, I fill in a BP chart and weight chart daily which I give her once per month which helps her to see the medication effect and sort out the dosage etc. Excellent Service

Regards

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Thanks for your reply Prada47. It's good to hear how well supported some people feel. Do you see your heart failure nurse regularly either in clinic or at home? Do they offer any other support that has been beneficial to you?

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Hi Angela

The Heart Failure Nurse phones about 6 weekly or I see her at the Clinic or a local Medical Practice if I am having problems. In my case when I was having shortness of breath she contacted the cardiologist for advice so an appointment was booked to see him. A direct link into the Hospital Cardiology Department is a great reassurance.

What she has also done is to send me information on a group in Scotland " Heart Hub" and me and my wife went to Dunblane Hydro for a Saturday night stay ( at a reduced rate ).

The Sunday was taken up with people with Heart Failure discussing symptoms etc. A Transplant Co-ordinator from Golden Jubilee gave a talk along with a GP, a couple of Cardiologists and a Cardio Pharmacist. It was organised by the Heart Failure Nurses based in Dundee, Tayside NHS. The session ended with a Rehab Physio taking a sit down session. I learnt so much about Heart Failure on the Sunday it was brilliant. Various Organizations had stands Pumping Marvellous, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, and the BHF to name just a few.

I believe the Heart Failure Nurse service helps prevent people needing Hospital Admission for Heart Failure symptoms, which can be spotted early.

Regards Frank W

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Many thanks for this information Frank.

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I don't think this is a service offered by my health authority which is Tameside. I've had no contact with anyone apart from my GP and two appointments with my consultant since I was discharged by the physio cardiac team several weeks after my heart attack 20 months ago. I wish I had a designated person to speaker but don't think the funding would be available in such a built up area.

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Thank you Julel. There are many areas nationwide that offer a heart failure service so it is possible your area has such a service. They will have certain criteria for the patients that they support. The best person to ask would be your GP or cardiac consultant to see if you meet the criteria. Alternatively many areas have different forms of Cardiac Support Groups where patients meet or communicate to discuss various issues. I believe the BHF have a register of these support groups if you wish to investigate.

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I live in the middle of Norfolk, miles from anywhere and I have not heard of a Heart Failure nurse.

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Thank you Woodbon. If you have been diagnosed with heart failure you could ask your GP or hospital consultant if they offer this service and would they recommend referring you to them.

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I live in Abergavenny and we have a Cardiac nurse, who is reachable for any problems etc, I have been in heart failure for a year, and I find her very helpful.

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Many thanks for your reply. Do you see your nurse regularly either in a clinic or at home? What is it about the service that is better than standard hospital appointments?

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Didn't even know there was/is a community heart failure service. Really the lack of information, aftercare I have found to be shocking

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Hi, I may be out of order here because I don't access any community heart failure services and am just wondering what this is and if it could help me. Im really struggling after 20 plus years of a stable condition, but I do have another problem that affects my mobility so fitness etc is a major issue for me and I'm wondering if these community heart failure services can help me and how I access the service.

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Hi I see the Heart failure nurse every month at the moment still trying to get meds right. I look forward to seeing her as it gives me great support, someone who understands how you are feeling and also she can titrate my meds if needed. She has referred me for cardiac rehab when my meds are sorted. It's so much easier then trying to get appointment with gp who dosnt even know you. I am in Leicestershire. I see her at the local hospital but I do know she does home visits for the more poorly or elderly patients. She is my heart angel.

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