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Scarborough Heart Failure Service celebrates 10th anniversary

This month, the Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale Heart Failure Service is celebrating its tenth anniversary.

The Service was established in 2004 when following a successful bid to the British Heart Foundation two Heart Failure Specialist Nurses (HFSN) were appointed to community services in the Scarborough Whitby Ryedale (SWR) area.

Since its establishment, the team has seen its number of referrals double from just 156 in 2006 to 373 in 2013. 

Janet Raw and Sharon Parsons, Heart Failure Specialist Nurses, explained: “At the time there was no heart failure nurse service in either primary or secondary care. The challenges of developing a community heart failure service were huge. These included a heart failure population above the national average, a large geographical rural area and a higher than average elderly population.

“However, with support and mentoring from the British Heart Foundation and the cardiology consultants at  Scarborough Hospital we were able to quickly establish and deliver a service for heart failure patients that integrated and liaised with primary, secondary and palliative care services.

“It soon became apparent that many of our patients were reaching the end of their illness. Mentoring and support from Professor Miriam Johnson at St Catherine’s Hospice enabled us to co-ordinate a shared care approach at end of life and our joint Heart failure cardiology/palliative care MDT was one of the first in the country."

In 2013 Annette Docherty joined the team. The addition of Annette and a third specialist nurse enabled the service to provide in-reach support to Scarborough Hospital two mornings a week.

Annette had been working alongside Janet and Sharon since 2011 on the Telehealth project.

Annette said: “I am delighted to be part of this team and to be celebrating 10 years of the heart failure service, it is great to look back to see how far the service has come over the last ten years and more importantly the benefits for local patients.”

17 October 2014

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