6 May 2011


Winner: Dorset County Hospital

Runners up: City and Hackney ELIC; East Lancashire

Prizes for winner/runners up:

  • one free registration to the BSH Annual Autumn Meeting 2011
  • an opportunity to display a poster, outlining their activities, at the BSH Annual Autumn Meeting 2011
  • a travel grant for the BSH Annual Autumn Meeting 2011 for up to £100 (subject to submission of expense claim form after the meeting)


Details of activities organised are provided directly by the following organisations to which the BSH has had no input.

Friends of the BSH

One BSH Friend organised an advertising banner on the Pulse website.

Barnet Hospital

Put up posters around the hospital. One of their Heart Failure Nurses and the physicians’ assistant in the heart failure team toured all medical wards and promoted their service to staff.

Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull Cardiac & Stroke Network


The cardiac and stroke network in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull have recently launched an educational programme targetting healthcare professionals with the aim of improving the end of life experience of patients with heart faliure.

The programme of work is aimed to develop an improved awareness of both the general and primary care work force, but also to provide the opportunity for practitioners in heart failure care to improve their competence and to gain skills in having end of life conversations with patients and their carers.

As well as providing a comprehensive programme of education, the project team plan to develop a resource kit that pulls together all information and guidance that will enable the ongoing improvement of end of life care.

The project team, lead by Dr Jim Beattie (Consultant Cardiologist and National Clinical Lead for NHS Improvement on heart failure and end of life care) succcessfully bid for funds to develop this programme of work, that is expanded to cover the whole West Midlands.

Working in collaboration with the other four cardiac and stroke networks, a comprehensive set of educational sessions are planned for the coming year.   

Launch event

The project team, formally launched the programme of work on 8 May 2011 to coincide with European Heart Failure Awareness Day.

An educational event was planned that was aimed to increase the awareness of primary care staff in the core facets of heart failure care.

The event pulled together a range of staff groups from GPs to district nurse lecturers, all keen on gaining a greater understanding into end of life care.

Dr Russell Davis, Cardiologist at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust provided a presentation that showed the physiological impact of heart faliure illustrated with sections of echocardiographs to enhance understanding. He also provided a helpful summary of the emerging evidence. 

Jane Stubley, an experienced Heart Failure Nurse Specialist, gave a really useful presentation on the role of the heart failure nurse – providing a range of personal anecdotes that gave the participants a really good sense of the unique needs of heart failure patients.

Dr Jim Beattie provided the main part of the session, picking up the end of life care. Jim’s presentation style was light-hearted and made a difficult subject memorable for the attendees.


All attendees completed an evaluation form. The following provides a selection of comments received by participants.

  • James was excellent and so was end of life care in heart failure. (Practice Teacher D/Nursing)
  • The day provided a broad knowledge of heart failure, particularly end of life. (Community Matron)
  • Excellent, clear, concise slides, aware of the current problems regarding end of life care in heart failure. (Heart Failure Specialist Nurse)
  • Very good, informative and thought providing. (Community Matron)
  • Very informative workshop. (Community Matron)
  • Thoroughly enjoyed the session. I’m from a renal background but end of life applicable. (CNS CKD) 
  • Jane exemplified the excellent knowledge base of specialist nurses – inspiring. Thank you. (Community Matron)  
  • Heart failure? Do we intervene quickly enough? Thank you very much. (Heart Failure Specialist Nurse)
  • Excellent afternoons study. All speakers were informative and delivered interesting advice, evidence and research findings. Pitched at the right level and very impressed with Jane’s presentation. (Community Matron)

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

European heart failure awareness day: a success for the Buckinghamshire heart failure team

With only a few days to prepare, the community heart failure team, Lynden Jones, Helena Masters, Julie Wilcock, Cheryl Purser and John Scurrell were successful in reaching out to the people of Buckinghamshire informing them about heart failure.

A stand was held in the foyer at Wycombe General Hospital on Friday 6 May 2011 joining activities which were held all over Europe to promote awareness of heart failure, including possible symptoms, and the importance of an early and accurate diagnosis and receiving optimal treatment.

The stand, looking particularly decorative dawned with balloons (donated by the British Heart Foundation), heart shaped sweets and chocolate (low cholesterol of course!), and home made biscuits, tempted those who passed by the stand to come and chat.

Staff, patients, carers came along to talk to local Community Heart Failure Nurses Helena Masters, Julie Wilcock and Cheryl Purser, who in between giving out health-promotion advice and talking to staff about their role in the community, took blood pressures and prompted heart failure awareness.

Dr Firoozan, Consultant Cardiologist, who works closely with the heart failure team offered support during the day by talking to staff and patients.

Questions such as “What is the difference from heart attack and heart failure?”, “What is a blood pressure?”, "What do the drugs do?", "How high should my cholesterol be?" Everyone knew someone who had heart failure or a heart problem. Some staff had never met the team because of locality working so networking was done and bridges were built.

Heart Failure Nurse John Scurrell raised awareness by encouraging people to take part in a quiz that saw various discussions about people’s heart rate with the question “How many times does the human heart beat in a day (at 60 beats a minute)?"

The day should have started at 10am but the stand caused interest as early as 8.30am when the team were setting up and it all finished at 2pm.

Diet and exercise advice was given from the Community Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse Shona Macarenhas, whilst the team’s administrator Lynden Jones explained about the heart failure service and her role in supporting the team. There was an opportunity to meet patients who were already being supported by the heart failure nurse specialist team.

The interactive day witnessed patients with heart failure persuading members of the public to have their blood pressures taken and also giving health promotion advice. An octogenarian enthusiastically informed us that she had a mechanical valve in place that prompted nursing students and staff to listen to her heart sounds! The atmosphere was upbeat and relaxed. Around 70-80 people visited the stand.

50% of blood pressures that were taken were noted to be high thus prompting the team to refer people back to their GP. There was an opportunity for staff and patients to review the proposed new patient-held record for heart failure and make comments. Colouring hearts and teddies were available for the children. The stand catered for all ages. Overall we felt that the day was successful in increasing the teams profile, whilst communicating about heart failure and being proactive with health promotion.

City and Hackney Community Heart Failure Team

The heart failure (HF) team for City and Hackney ELIC took the opportunity to raise awareness and the profile of heart failure sufferers (particularly in City and Hackney) through the yearly celebrated European Heart Failure Awareness Day. Part of our service goal is to provide patients, families, health care practitioners and/or carers the much needed knowledge about HF. However, methods to attract and generate unified interest in our large ethnic minority and diverse local population (ie large orthodox Jewish, Kurdish and Turkish communities) made this an exciting and a challenging task. This is in addition to the limited availability of our resources.

Improving health and reducing health inequalities are run by many agencies in City and Hackney. Recognising that the health care related effects of long term conditions such as heart failure not only is a burden to patients but also their families and carers, we decided to collaborate and seek the support of local community services such as Age Well, TLC Care Services and Hackney Carers Centre/The Princess Royal Trust for Carers. The aim is to ensure that we not only focused on education, but also showcased facts, available resources and services available for patients and their carers as shaped by local requirements.

Advertising and publicity

The goal of the team was to generate as much public interest as possible. Therefore we looked at locations that were central and free of charge. After much discussion and meetings by a member of the HF team, we were fortunate to have been granted the use of the local library, which is situated in a central town location. TLC Care Service also agreed to support us on the day and provided health checks (to determine if one is at risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease) as part of their health prevention campaign. This, we believed, would attract people to the information stalls and the event itself.

The local council, local involvement network, and City and Hackney Carers Centre helped us with publicity via their respective websites under events of their 'what’s on' section. This led to national charities such as The Afiya Trust to also advertise the event on their local sector webpage. The local council via Hackney Living Facebook page also helped us by promoting the event to the 'friends' of this site. Our Local GP Pathfinder Consortium: ELIC helped us cascade the information by sending our flyer and event programmes via e-mail to Healthcare Practitioners and General Practices in the City and Hackney.

The day of the event                                       

We utilised the available inside and outside space/facilities of Hackney Central Library. A gazebo was erected outside along with stalls which were set up by the representatives of local community services mentioned above including St Josephs Hospice whom we invited to support us on the event. Practice Nurses, Community Matrons, HF patients and their families also attended to support the event.

As anticipated, blood pressure measurement followed by health checks (when appropriate) enticed the crowd to the stalls. The members of the HF team talked to the 'curious public' individually or as a group. Interested members of the public were welcomed and provided with information and leaflets ranging from advice on lifestyle (ie salt, healthy eating and physical activity). If members of the public answered positively to the signs and symptoms of HF as per stated on the flyer, they were additionally provided with a BHF leaflet on heart failure, and the event programme and encouraged to attend the talks/discussion on HF later on the day.  As necessary and when appropriate, the ESC template flyer was also disseminated to encourage people to contact their respective GPs and view the Heart Failure Matters website.

To breakdown the misconception of HF and physical activity, an interactive Q&A session was performed by a highly specialist physiotherapist. Safe and simple exercise routines were demonstrated and those members of the audience who were capable gladly participated.

After the demonstration, short and informative talks inside the library were lead by the introduction of the HF team and an overview of the HF service. This was followed by a brief and informal discussion from a local GP who provided an insight into how and why the service was commissioned. This GP played an active role in the setup of the service. It was highlighted by how locally the HF sufferers of City and Hackney fared in comparison to national and international rates in terms of prevalence, morbidity and mortality. A detailed presentation by a Cardiologist from Homerton University Hospital followed. The discussion focused on HF signs and symptoms and the importance of early diagnosis, and receiving optimal treatment. The programme event also gave the representatives from the local community services the opportunity to give the audience an overview about the service they provide and how they can be accessed. To conclude, evaluation forms were handed out with feedback ranging from a very encouraging “very good to excellent”.

In summary

We did not anticipate the continued influx of public interest to continue at the stalls whilst the programme was running in the library and when dismantling the stalls at the closure of the event. We performed around 80 blood pressure checks and spoke to approximately 100 people on the day. Lessons learnt from this event would entail for future events, we would extend the hours and provide additional staff. It is also important to highlight that the success of the event would not have been possible without the support from our local agencies and services. This has also paved the way for the HF team to develop professional relationships and conduct further collaborative work in future events.

EHFA 2011 City and Hackney

EHFA 2011 City and Hackney

EHFA 2011 City and Hackney

EHFA 2011 City and Hackney


Dorset County Hospital

Activities and events organised across West Dorset by Tracey Dare, Heart Failure Nurse Specialist, Dorset County Hospital

As the only Heart Failure Nurse Specialist working in West Dorset serving a population of 2,300 I really wanted to use the heart failure awareness campaign to inform healthcare professionals and the general public about this condition.

I coordinated a series of events and promotions across South, part North and West Dorset to highlight the awareness campaign.

I arranged for 5 local community hospitals to set up displays in the main hospital receptions and also got 8 GP surgeries to do the same - providing visual displays and providing a wealth of information and leaflets for people to take away. I also set up a display in the cardiology department which stayed in situ for a month in the run up to the day itself and for 1 week afterwards.

The campaign posters were displayed on every ward and in corridors throughout Dorset County Hospital.

The posters were also distributed to every single GP practice across South, West and North Dorset (the area served by Dorset County Hospital).

I arranged a public awareness event/coffee morning at the Community Centre in Portland on 3 May 2011 from 10am to 12pm. This event was arranged in partnership with Synergy Housing Association which is our local housing association. Synergy sponsored the hire of the hall and provided free tea and coffee. Portland was targeted particularly as it is an area of high deprivation. Attractions at the event include free health checks, stalls, educational stands and advice on stopping smoking. We raised £289 for the British Heart Foundation at the event which was advertised in the local paper beforehand and a write up is to take place in the Dorset Evening Echo in the next few days. There has also been a write up in the View From Dorchester online.

I arranged for one of my Cardiology Consultants to be interviewed on local radio Wessex FM.

I organised a whole study day titled 'Chronic Heart Failure Update' which was held in the Education Centre at Dorset County Hospital. The event was sponsored by 5 companies which meant I could advertise the places to staff for free. We had 60 delegates attend the day (the maximum capacity for the venue) from secondary and primary care. All evaluations were excellent. 

All of the events will also be reported in the Trust Newsletter.

EHFA 2011 Dorset

EHFA 2011 Dorset

EHFA 2011 Dorset

East Lancashire Community Heart Failure Service

Date – 6th May 2011
Venue – Asda in Accrington at the Heart of East Lancashire

In attendance:

  • Pumping Marvellous – East Lancashire’s patient support group for heart failure
  • East Lancashire Heart Failure Nursing Team
  • Cardio Teams from the Royal Blackburn Hospital
  • NHS East Lancashire Healthy Lifestyle Teams
  • NHS Community Dieticians
  • British Heart Foundation.

Aims of the day

  • To promote European Heart Failure Day.
  • To raise awareness of heart failure within the community and its effects.
  • Educate and signpost people to relevant services provided.
  • Offer customers of Asda blood pressure tests and BMI tests.
  • Raise money for Pumping Marvellous which is a local heart failure group that is run by heart failure patients and the BHF 'Heart of Blackburn Appeal' for a new 3D Echocardiogram.


  • 4 prominent and highly professional stands representing:
    • Pumping Marvellous
    • East Lancashire Heart Failure Nursing Team
    • BHF and Scanner Appeal
    • Healthy Life Style Teams and NHS Community Dieticians.
  • Bag packing at the checkouts and engaging with the customers of Asda.
  • BMI checks.
  • Blood pressure checks.
  • Signposting customers, answering concerns and generally educating around the subject of heart failure.


  • £500 was raised for Pumping Marvellous and the Royal Blackburn Hospitals 'Heart of Blackburn Appeal'.
  • Delivered a strong message surrounding heart failure and general cardiac care.
  • Pumping Marvellous is now stronger due to building relationships with Healthy Lifestyle Teams and Community Dieticians which will directly have an impact on heart failure patients within the East Lancashire area.
  • Strong local press coverage.
  • Buy in from the NHS East Lancashire – they managed the PR.
  • Raised awareness not only in the general population but also with decision makers within NHS East Lancashire.
  • Now have support from Asda Accrington who are going to work with Pumping Marvellous as their local charity.

John Radcliffe Hospital

On Friday 6th May we organised a 2 table stand and 1 big notice board to present Heart Failure Awareness Day on the main corridor within the John Radcliffe Hospital. We made the stand look very bright and welcoming; we had lots of bright balloons and boiled sweets available for the public. Our Heart Failure Specialist Nurses took it in turn to offer free blood pressure checks throughout the day from 10am-3pm, and the public were very grateful for the information that was available on blood pressure.

We had a media and communications colleague come and take photos of the stand as we shall be producing an article about heart failure awareness in our local Trust newsletter which will be published next month.

We produced 21 information posters on heart failure and blood pressure awareness for the public to read. Along side these we also produced several hand out sheets. We had many positive comments from the public and lots of them took away the printed information leaflets.

Heart failure symptoms

The most common symptoms of heart failure are:

If you have two or more of these over a period of 2/3 days, we would advise that you go and see your GP).

How to lower blood pressure

  • Cut down on salt.
  • Increase your fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Increase your level of activity.
  • Lose weight if you need to.

Taking your prescribed tablets and following the lifestyle tips above, will help you to live a longer and healthier life.

Understanding your blood pressure reading

When you have your blood pressure measured it is written like this: 120/80mmHg, which is said "120 over 80”. The first number is the systolic pressure, when your heart pushes blood around your body.  The second is the diastolic pressure, when your heart relaxes.

Blood pressure usually ranges between 90 to 250 for the top
or maximum number (systolic) and 60 to 140 for the bottom or minimum number (diastolic).

Blood pressure chart for adults

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a serious medical condition where the heart does not pump blood around the body as well as it should. This can cause fluid to accumulate in lungs and other parts of the body. However, if recognized early, and adequately treated, people can have a long and a good quality life.

Heart failure often develops because you have a medical condition, such as high blood pressure or coronary artery disease (furring up of the arteries to the heart) which has damaged or put extra workload on your heart.

Warning signs


You should call for help immediately if you experience:
• persistent chest pain,
• severe and persistent shortness of breath,
• fainting.
You should call your GP ASAP if you experience:
• increased shortness of breath,
• waking up at night due to shortness of breath,
• needing more pillows to sleep comfortably,
• rapid heart rate.
You should discuss with your GP if you experience:
• rapid weight gain,
• progressive swelling/pain in the abdomen,
• increased swelling of legs/ankles,
• loss of appetite/nausea,
• increased tiredness,
• worsening cough.


  • Shortness of breath.
  • Coughing/wheezing.
  • Weight gain.
  • Swollen ankles.
  • Tiredness/fatigue.
  • Dizziness.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Need to urinate at night.

Helping yourself

(If you have been diagnosed with heart failure)

Maintaining a healthy weight: heart failure is often associated with rapid changes in weight. Try to maintain a sensible weight for your heart. If you should lose weight, lose it gently.

Salt intake: reducing your salt intake can be important for people with heart failure.

Fluid intake: people with heart failure should usually only be drinking 1.5-2litres of fluid a day.

Alcohol intake: people with heart failure should drink no more than 1-2 alcoholic drinks a day. If you have serious symptoms you maybe advised to avoid it altogether.

Medications: if you have heart failure it is extremely important that you take all your medications as prescribed every day.

Fats and cholesterol: your diet should include fruit and vegetables, fish, poultry, lean meat, and unsaturated fats.

Adapting your lifestyle: heart failure is a chronic condition, which means it requires long-term treatment. You may have to adapt other aspects of your lifestyle. This can be discussed with your GP or Community Heart Failure Nurse.

Living with heart failure

Activity and exercise: this is beneficial for the majority of people with heart failure. If you wish to start an exercise program or increase/change your exercise you must always seek advice from your GP or Community Heart Failure Nurse. 

Smoking: if you are a smoker and you have been diagnosed with heart failure this will and can make your condition worse. To seek help to stop please see the practice nurse at your GP surgery.

Travelling: as long as your heart failure is well-controlled and stable, travelling will be fine. If you wish to go aboard please seek advice from your GP or Community Heart Failure Nurse.

Driving: most people with heart failure can drive safely, although people with a history of lost consciousness or fainting due to abnormal heart rhythm must not drive and should seek advice from their GP.

Immunisations: it is always best to ensure you have your flu and pneumonia vaccine as respiratory problems can worsen heart failure.

Relationships: good management of heart failure will involve group effort from family members and friends. Why not make it a family activity to measure your heart rate and blood pressure.

London Chest Hospital

Held an event for professionals working within the borough of Tower Hamlets to provide an update on the new heart failure National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines. The event was set up collaboratively with the heart failure service at Bart’s and The London. Presentations were given on various aspects of heart failure care to GPs, Practice Nurses, and other professionals working within the area.

Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust

Three Heart Failure Nurses from Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust have been instrumental in bringing about more awareness of heart failure matters and associated problems relating to cardiac issues.

On Friday 6th May 2011 at North Manchester General Hospital, situated at the entrance of the Hospital and main out-patients area, a stand was set up which consisted of information/leaflets for heart failure, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation and various cardiac issues. Lifestyle advice was an important component of this stand – this included exercise, weight management, fluid intake management, dietary advice relating to healthy eating, what foods consist of in the way of salt, fats, sugar, energy and calories, medicines compliance and management. We were able to allay many anxieties regarding co-morbidities, imminent investigations that some people were awaiting and why they were needed, medications taken and why and some cardiac surgical procedure anxieties.

Information also included websites for Cardiomyopathy UK, BHF and of course Heart Failure Matters.

People were also able to obtain blood pressure and pulse check.  The pulse being felt and not just analysed by the BP machine.

There were lots of bright colours to lure the people to us and we as a team wore something red.

Penine Trust EHFA 2011

St Joseph's Hospice


The aims of our activities on Heart Failure Awareness Day were:

  • To improve awareness of what heart failure is, signs, symptoms and where to go for help, support and advice, for members of the public.
  • To promote new NICE guidelines and local services to primary care providers such as GP’s and Practice Nurses.
  • To encourage joint working between heart failure teams referring their patients to hospice services, across primary and secondary care throughout our three local boroughs.
  • Promote access and services available at St Joseph's Hospice for people living with advanced heart failure.   


I am a Heart Failure CNS working in the palliative care setting of St Joseph's Hospice in East London. On Heart Failure Awareness Day I worked collaboratively with my heart failure colleagues in the surrounding boroughs at 3 different events, one of which we hosted at St Joseph's Hospice. This also helped me to promote the importance of integrating palliative care into the care of people living with advanced heart failure.  

Event one - Hackney Library

The Hackney Community Heart Failure team (ELIC practices) held a stall at the Hackney Library to promote awareness, services and heart failure wellbeing clinic held at the Hospice. Health checks were available from the NHS Health Check team - to help identify if a person is at risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease. We also checked blood pressures and gave out BHF information booklets. For those that had abnormal blood pressure readings we advised them to have it rechecked with their Practice Nurse and to visit the GP if it remains high. Other agencies were also present to promote their services. A Consultant Cardiologist spoke to the crowds about heart failure awareness and the Physiotherapist talked to the public about the importance of staying active. The interest and uptake was high due to the varied programme and high number of people passing the area. This event was arranged by Zhareen Flordeliza, Ellen Shata and Rosy Scott, Heart Failure CNS from City and Hackney ELIC Heart Failure Team.

Event two- London Chest Hospital

An event for professionals working within the borough of Tower Hamlets to receive an update of the new heart failure NICE guidelines. This event was set up collaboratively with the heart failure service at Bart’s and The London, Tower Hamlets Community Services and I.  

Presentations were given by Ceri Davies, Consultant Cardiologist; Jane Butler, Consultant Nurse; Taf Musendo, HF CNS, from Tower Hamlets PCT and I. Various aspects of heart failure care and management were delivered to GPs, Practice Nurses, and other professionals working within the area. I personally presented a presentation about palliative care in heart failure and the Heart Failure Wellbeing Clinic, held at St Joseph's Hospice.  

Event three- heart failure awareness afternoon tea

The final event of the day held at St Joseph's Hospice with Heart Failure Nurses from Tower Hamlets and City and Hackney. An informal event for professionals, patients, carers and the public to find out more about heart failure and local services. An afternoon tea was held in our new information and community area called ‘Finding Space’. Local services, such as The Carers Centre and the Heart Failure Wellbeing Clinic, were present to offer their services to those needing them. The event went well and people very much enjoyed the afternoon tea.

Evaluation of the day

I feel Heart Failure Awareness Day has been a great opportunity for us to reach out to the local public and professionals and to promote what heart failure really is and how best to manage such a condition.

At the first event we came across many people with undiagnosed hypertension and advised them to seek further advice from their GP about this. For me, heart failure awareness is not just about making people aware of what heart failure is, but about what causes it, many of which are treatable if caught early.

This event highlighted to me that generally people do not really understand the term ‘heart failure’. It is not thought of as an actual diagnosis, like diabetes or cancer. It does not have the clarity in its name about the long term nature and severity of the illness, like other chronic diseases do. When people hear cancer they automatically think it is a terminal illness, however for some reason, the term heart failure does not have the same impact.

Working collaboratively across organisations and boroughs is key and vital to the coordination of care for people living with heart failure. Often there are multiple professionals involved in the care and a patient’s condition can change rapidly. Building links and communicating effectively amongst professionals is vital to ensure effective patient management.

National campaigns, like those from the British Heart Foundation, and events such as this all help to heighten people’s awareness on this area. This is vital as our population ages, more people survive cardiac events and numbers of people living with heart failure increase. This will potentially put a huge demand on services. The sooner people with heart failure understand what it is, get a formal diagnosis and treatment we know this will impact how well controlled their symptoms are, how often they’ll go into hospital and how long that person may live.

EHFA 2011 St Joseph's Hosipice

EHFA 2011 St Jospeh's Hospice

EHFA 2011 St Joseph's Hospice


EHFA 2011 St Joseph's Hospice

Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust marked the occasion of European Heart Failure Awareness Day on May 6th by setting up a stand in the hospital's main entrance. Throughout the day, with support from the Heart Failure Nurse, the stand was run by heart failure patients; it provided a great opportunity for the general public to speak to patients with heart failure on the affects of the condition on their lifestyle. Some of the highlights on the stand alongside the literature material, fresh fruit platter and drinks included blood pressure checks and echocardiography imaging. The day was also broadcasted to the local media: Tameside Radio broadcasted an interview with the Heart Failure Nurse on heart failure and the importance of European Heart Failure Awareness Day; also the local paper ‘Tameside Reporter’ featured an article. Overall the day was a great success!

Article published by media

Tameside and Glossop heart failure patients will share their experiences as Tameside Hospital prepares to mark European Heart Failure Awareness Day. Patients and visitors will also have the opportunity to have their blood pressure checked and see how an echocardiagram is used to diagnose heart failure. The tests will be among the highlights of a stand being set up at the hospital’s Hartshead North entrance on Friday (May 6) where people will also be able to take away leaflets to find out more about a condition that is one of the most frequent causes of hospital admissions. Heart Failure Nurse Practitioner Jacqueline Hall said: “There is nothing like hearing about a condition from someone who has been there which is why we wanted to have heart failure patients with us for tomorrow’s awareness raising day. Heart failure is one of the most common causes of hospital admissions in the UK, and it occurs when the heart muscle isn’t functioning normally. There are almost three quarters of a million people living with heart failure in the UK and 28 million across Europe. Here in Tameside and Glossop there are 1,800 patients with diagnosed heart failures. The diagnosis can be difficult, with symptoms such as shortness of breath and swollen legs often ignored. However, once diagnosed with appropriate treatment, those symptoms can be improved and treatment options offered to improve the patient’s overall outlook. The reason we are supporting European Heart Failure Awareness Day is because the more people know about it and know the signs they should be looking for, the more we might be able to reduce admissions for heart failure and allow people who have been diagnosed with heart failure to manage their condition better.” Heart failure can occur at any age, increases with age, and typically affects one per cent of those aged 50-59 rising to 10 per cent of those aged 80-89. Heart failure services at Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have been steadily evolving and improving over the last eight years.  Among the services offered are a nurse led heart failure clinic, monthly heart failure support group held at the hospital with educational talks, twice weekly heart failure rehabilitation classes and a telephone help line. The hospital has strong links with the community heart failure team and liaises regularly to ensure patients are supported appropriately once discharged home.

Walsall Heart Failure Team

Held a heart failure awareness session in Walsall town.

  • 77 people attended whilst shopping in Tesco; blood pressure, pulse and BMI were recorded for each.
  • General advice was given on diet and exercise.
  • A presentation was given to all.
  • 3 members of staff demonstrated telehealth equipment.
  • 2 health trainers assisted with observations/advice and gave away freebies, bags, pens and leaflets reinforcing health messages.
  • Out of 77 people, 3 ECGs were requested, 1 BNP and 1 echocardiogram, for which results will be reviewed and acted on accordingly.
  • 6 student nurses helped with the event as well as a Community Cardiac Nurse and a Facilitator from the local Network.
  • The event was advertised via posters throughout the hospital, Tesco and the hospital magazine.
  • A report was sent to The Express and Star.
  • Tesco offered its support for next year.

Wirral Heart Centre

Heart failure awareness in the community setting

Wirral Heart Centre is based in Birkenhead, Wirral. We serve a diverse population of 350,000 with some of the country's richest and most deprived areas within a few miles of each other. The centre provides a range of cardiac services delivered by a team of dedicated Nurses, Physiologists and administrative staff. We also have input from a Consultant Cardiologist, Staff Grade Cardiologist and five GPs with a special interest in Cardiology. Incorporated within this is the Wirral Heart Failure Team: three band seven Nurses and a part time band 6 Nurse.  The community heart failure service was established three years ago and has grown rapidly and successfully. Our aim in the next 12 months is to redesign the service, employing extra staff in order that we can dedicate 25% of our time to education. The role would provide support to our community teams thus enhancing the quality of care to patients and reducing hospital admissions. Initially we need to raise awareness about the growing problem of heart failure and its future implications.

The Wirral Heart Centre hosted an education afternoon for the largest GP consortia in Wirral with representatives from the other two consortia. We as a heart failure team took this opportunity to introduce the community teams to the above proposal. We were able to raise awareness about the increasing prevalance of the disease and introduced and discussed our future plans. We did a formal presentation and had informal discussions which generated an array of positive feedback.

The day was well attended by approximately 50 people including GPs, Practice Nurses and Community Nurses and was a great success. In summary we were able to raise awareness of heart failure to a large number of community staff who deal with patients daily with heart failure. We were able to get them to embrace the idea that with our support they would be able to be more involved and proactive in meeting the needs of patients.

Correspondence to:
Jane Egan
Heart Failure Specialist Nurse
Wirral Heart Support Centre
1st Floor Grange Centre
St Catherine's Hospital
Church Road
Telephone: 0151 604 7711
EHFA 2011 Wirral Heart Centre
EHFA 2011 Wirral Heart Centre

West Midlands Cardiac and Stroke Networks

Held a workshop.