A new service to help patients living with heart failure in East and North Hertfordshire will be rolled out later this year.
The Integrated Heart Failure Service has been developed by colleagues across the East and North Hertfordshire Health and Care Partnership, which is made up of ten health, social and voluntary care organisations of which Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust is a partner.
Addressing cardiac conditions is one of the key ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan, and Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust has used its growth funding to make this new service a reality. There are currently more than 4,000 people who are registered with heart failure in East and North Hertfordshire, although the actual figure is estimated to be as high as 7,000.
The service will enable patients with heart failure to be monitored closer to home and benefit from earlier identification, diagnosis and management of their condition. It will include patient access (where required) to a consultant cardiologist operating at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust and specialist heart failure nurses working closely with community nurses, hospices, and primary care colleagues.
The service will also take advantage of the new direct access echocardiogram pathway being offered through the Community Diagnostic Centre at the new QEII Hospital at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust.
Dr Elizabeth Kendrick, Medical Director at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, said: “We know that people who experience heart failure are more likely to live with complex illnesses, disabilities and frailty. We’re very optimistic about the potential of the Integrated Heart Failure Service in speeding up diagnosis, reducing health inequalities and improving quality of life for our patients.”
Sam Tappenden, Director of Development at East and North Hertfordshire Health and Care Partnership, said: “I am delighted that as a partnership, we have worked together to develop this exciting new service which will make a big difference to people living with heart failure”.
Justin Daniels, Medical Director and Consultant Paediatrician at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said: “The new Integrated Heart Failure Service in East and North Hertfordshire is a significant advancement in our ability to support individuals living with heart failure.
“This exciting and innovative new model will revolutionise the way we identify, diagnose, and manage heart failure. Ultimately it will lead to improved clinical outcomes for our patients and enable treatment closer to home.”
Dr Alison Jackson, Clinical Director of Broxbourne Alliance Primary Care Network, said: “Patients with heart failure often present in many different and complex ways – the challenge there is a multidisciplinary approach is often needed with easier access routes into services.
“Experience of managing heart failure within Primary Care Networks, and from what we know about the population health data, shows how effective a heart failure service will be in East and North Hertfordshire.
“This is an opportunity to do things differently by joining up the different skillsets of all providers in a coordinated way, which delivers care closer to home and will hopefully improve patient outcomes.”