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Case Study – Castle Hill Cardiac Support Team

CHD Competence Framework – User empowerment with Castle Hill Cardiac Support Team

Patients who have had some form of coronary heart disease, and their carers, have been involved in the development of the CHD framework from its inception. They were invited to test some of the draft units from phase 2 within the context of their contact with their medical practitioners. During discussions, it was recognised that the Castle Hill Cardiac Support Team was supporting patients with heart conditions and their carers.

Initially one of the criteria for becoming a member of the Castle Hill Cardiac Support Team was that we had to have had some cardiac surgery and therefore have the marks on our chests. It fondly became known as ‘The Zipper Club’. The Support Team has been running for several years.

We go and talk to the patients as they find out that they are about to have surgery, and support the carers before, during, and after surgery. The new patients always find it comforting to know that we have already been through what they are facing and have lived to tell the tale.

The aim

We wanted to review the units to identify any units we could adopt as part of our activities within the Support Team or identify any units which might support us and the medical practitioners in our work with the patients.

The action

Rekha Wadhwani, our technical consultant on the project, came up to Hull and gave a presentation to Roy Barcoe, Ann Barcoe, Les McMullen, and Marjorie McMullen. Roy had been a patient for over 10 years, while Ann has had angina for the last four years. Les McMullen was diagnosed with silent angina about a year ago and his wife Marjorie has had angina for the last 15 years. Because of this, it was agreed to review the following units:

  • CHD EE1 Enable individuals to understand and reduce the risk of CHD
  • CHD HB1 Recognise indications of heart conditions and take appropriate action
  • HCS I2 Receive patients and carers
  • HCS I14 Advise and counsel patients to facilitate the management of condition and treatment plan

The results

We felt the units were set out in a logical order and were easy to understand by non-medical people like us. There is a lot of variation in the provision of care services to patients not only across the country but within each region as well. We often meet patients from different hospitals who have been provided with physiotherapy and relaxation support from one hospital while patients from another hospital didn’t receive the same aftercare service.

The standard of service also varied from hospital to hospital. Matters are improving as a cardiac nurse from the British Heart Foundation visits some patients at home. The units should help with equalising a standard of quality throughout the sector which will support both carers and patients towards a faster recovery.

The future

We would like to take the units to our cardiac nurse who may be able to build upon the content of the units and provide relevant information to the patients and carers at our monthly meetings. We would also like to link the unit CHD EE1 (Enable individuals to understand and reduce the risk of CHD) to the work we are already doing and provide extra advice to patients and their carers.