A modern, private and comfortable experience is what patients of the Trust’s Chest Pain Clinic can expect when they’re referred to RBH.
The nurse-led chest pain unit, which was previously based in AAU, relocated to a purpose-built unit at the entrance of ward 21 in November 2011. It now sits with complementary cardiac services such as CCU and the Cardiac Investigations Unit.
The unit, which was one of first of its kind in the country when it opened in 2007, sees patients from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. The team sees patients within two weeks of their GP referral, inpatients and people who have attended ED complaining of chest pains. On average, they see between 15 and 20 new patients per week.
Working under cardiologist Dr Rozkovec and associate specialist in cardiology, Dr Kingston, the team performs tests to diagnose the causes of unexplained episodes of dizziness and blackouts as well as chest pain, which could be anything from arrhythmias to angina.
Tom McManus, Chest Pain Nurse Specialist, said: “The benefit of having a nurse-led unit is that two people, myself and Janine Fortt, Chest Pain Nurse Specialist, are constantly running the unit so can make changes as and when they are needed. This creates a continuity of standards within the service.
“We can work together to fit appointments in very quickly, and if we do have an emergency, we have the appropriate staff to call for advice.”
The community services-provided heart failure team, which visits the majority of patients in their own home, also runs some clinics at the new unit for more well patients.
This means GPs can refer people who they think may have heart failure to the unit, through diagnostic clinics such as the Cardiac Breathlessness Clinic.
Rosie Connell, Heart Failure Nurse, said: “What we deal with is essentially ‘pump’ failure, where a person’s heart fails to keep up with the demands of the body. This might be caused by a heart attack, ischaemic heart disease (reduced blood supply to the heart muscle because of fatty build ups in the coronary arteries) or hypertention (high blood pressure).
The Heart Failure Team follows the patients to the point of palliative care. They work in a preventative way, educating patients about their medication, in their own homes.
“Although we mainly work off site, it is really useful to have a base at the unit because we have access to consultants, equipments, tests and results.”