Commissioners are investing in community heart failure nurses in the north of Derbyshire, which they say is contributing to a reduction in hospital admissions and lengths of stay.
Six heart failure specialist nurses are employed by Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust. The team is funded by Hardwick and North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.
Each of the team also works one day a week in Chesterfield Royal Hospital, where they facilitate the discharge of patients with heart failure.
Patients are seen at home or in clinics between once a fortnight and twice a week, depending on need.
The service receives around 60 referrals a month, with patients remaining under the team’s care for between three and seven months typically. At any one time, it can be helping from 270-310 patients.
The most recent recruits are Julie Bashforth and Mandy Duqeumin who joined in August, with another nurse to follow early next year.
The nursing team also comprises Martin Melville, Sheila Goodwin and Debbie Sutherland, with support from telehealth nurse Kate Johnson and healthcare assistant Kathy Brindle.
Mr Melville said: “During the service’s lifetime, we’ve seen a steady reduction in hospital admissions and length of stay. This is good news not only for the patient but also the NHS as it allows us to release more funding for community care.
“The heart failure nursing service has played an important part in this success, along with better acute care and more appropriate prescribing of drugs.”
He added: “We now have a completely integrated service working extremely closely with GPs and Chesterfield Royal that’s enabling more and more patients to get the treatment they need at home.”
A similar heart failure service operates in Derby and the south of the county.
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