7 May 2010

Competition winner

Due to the combined efforts of the BSH membership, the BSH won one of the Heart Failure Association's (HFA) Heart Failure Awareness Day Grants.


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

Barnet and Chase Farm

Displayed posters across both sites.

East Lancashire Heart Failure Team

Manned a stand at a local community hospital.  The press attended and one of their patients took part.

North Central London Cardiac Network

Circulated details to each PCT within the sector, asking that details of the day and the link to the poster be included in the primary care magazines sent out to all practices. NHS Improvement were also informed and details of the day went out in their weekly bulletin, which is sent to all network members. The network has for some years had a very enthusiastic heart failure group for which heart failure awareness amongst colleagues is a key priority and notably for the year 2009/2010 all acute trusts are contributing to the National Heart Failure Audit, whilst every GP across the sector has had access to natriuretic peptides for several years.

Rotherham Community Health Services Heart Failure Team

  • BSH posters with details in GP surgeries, pharmacies, tourist office, council websites, sent to databases requesting Rotherham’s forthcoming events and in other public areas.
  • News article in Rotherham Free Paper explaining what heart failure is and about the service provided.
  • Hired a marquee and hired a prime site in Rotherham’s town centre for the day.
  • Plan for day between 11am-1pm (after 1pm on a Friday the town centre is quiet).
  • Information giving – website addresses, British Heart Foundation leaflets – Living with Heart Failure and The Heart Failure Plan (which the patients helped to redesign recently!).
  • The two Heart Failure Specialist Nurses and the Palliative Heart Failure Specialist Nurse were there for advice and to promote awareness of heart failure.
  • Formulated a 4 step plan for the public who can positively answer the question “Do you have unexplained shortness of breath, swollen ankles?” This plan is very simple and brief and is intended to outline expectations and a basic pathway.
  • There were representatives from the community ECHO department who gave information, leaflets and advice on ECHO and heart failure.
  • Their Cardiac Support Nurse – who visits patients with heart failure with anxiety and depression – was there to give information and support.
  • Patient representatives attended and were available to talk to the public about heart failure.
  • Support group representatives – group run by patients – a couple attended to promote support group.
  • An open air Tai Chi demonstration (they have a twice weekly Tai Chi class for heart failure patients).
  • A celebrity appearance to draw crowds – to sign autograph, photo opportunity.
  • Asked the famous British chef Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food to support the day by providing taster cups of healthy food at about midday.
  • Media presence – a Rotherham NHS Cameraman and Interviewer attended and interviewed us for a film to be shown on the TVs in local GP surgeries, etc.
  • Appearance from local rugby club – players attended to draw crowds and for photo opportunity.
  • Some GP surgeries signed up to be involved with the Heart Failure Awareness Day, we displayed information and leaflets at these surgeries.
  • Given prizes for a raffle – football tickets, etc, and therefore did some fundraising as well.

Rotheram HFAD

Royal Free Hospital

Set up a stall at the main entrance of the hospital advertising the event, providing advice, handing out British Heart Foundation heart failure booklets and fruit. The stall was manned by the Heart Failure Consultant, Heart Failure Nurse and the Cardiovascular Risk Nurse and there was a constant flow of people from 9am-2pm (minimum of 2 people present at any one time).

South Tees Heart Failure Team

Held a coffee morning. They presented information and other professionals attended the event. They had display boards and a tombola. The event was open to patients, staff, carers and other professionals that help deal with patients with heart failure.

Tameside and Glossop Primary Care Trust

There are about 707,000 people living with heart failure in the UK and at least 28 million people in greater Europe. Within Tameside and Glossop Primary Care Trust, there are 1811 patients with diagnosed heart failure recorded on GP registers (Quality Management and Analysis System. QMAS; June 2009).
The first Heart Failure Awareness Day was held on Thursday 7th May 2010; to mark the occasion Heart Failure Nurse Jacqueline Hall in collaboration with Advancing Quality Project Nurse Viv Buckett held an awareness stand between 12-2pm outside the main canteen. There was an opportunity to have blood pressure checks, visualize the diagnosing of heart failure through active echocardiogram imaging and to become familiar with the Trust’s Heart Failure Standards of Care flow chart.
The most frequent causes of admissions and readmissions for people with heart failure are poor drug compliance, insufficient medical therapy and an inability by the patient to maintain the fluid restriction (Michalsen et al 1998 and Tsuyuki et al 2001). Approximately half of these admissions may be preventable (National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease; NSF CHD 2000).
Advancing Quality highlights the importance of correct diagnosis and treatment of heart failure. Educating patients about their condition, treatment and lifestyle options during admission and providing discharge advice and follow up guidance can increase compliance and reduce readmission rates.

Manned a stand at the Tameside General Hospital. Activities ranged from balloons, with Heart Failure Awareness Day, given to children (and pamphlets to their parents), through local publications and media contact, talks and demonstrations and availability of health care professionals to answer questions.

Whittington Hospital

A vibrant multi-disciplinary team and stall greeted patients, families and visitors as they came and went from the hospital, throughout the day. We had a large number of orange balloons (one of the European Society of Cardiology colours) printed with Heart Failure Awareness Day. As we had hoped, this attracted younger children who were given the balloons whilst their families came to understand and discuss heart failure, including its treatment and prevention. A large amount of diverse literature was available and accepted with enthusiasm, whilst the children excitedly carried balloons into the surrounding schools.

The team on the stand included the Hospital Chief Executive, the Director of Primary Care, the Heart Failure Lead Consultant Cardiologist and Specialist Nurses and Assistants from the community and the acute Trust (spanning rehabilitation, heart function, heart failure, chest pain and anticoagulation). The event was preceded by an article in the hospital magazine, which is widely distributed within and without the hospital, and a follow up article. Components of the press release were picked up by local papers.