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Derby heart failure unit celebrates life-saving first year

Published 12/12/2017

A service that allows patients with heart conditions to receive treatment at the Royal Derby Hospital and then go home on the same day has celebrated its first year anniversary. 

The Ambulatory Heart Failure Unit provides patients with diuretic treatment using an intravenous (IV) drip so that they don’t have to be admitted to hospital as an inpatient.  

This service provides 7-day-a-week care and is run by a team of specialist nurses from Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust (DCHS).

Patients also receive a daily specialist nurse review and typically spend two to three hours each day at the unit, which is based at the hospital’s Coronary Care Unit.

In its first year, this collaborative service has cared for between 8 and 12 patients each day that would have otherwise needed hospital beds.  

Offering patients the chance to receive care and then not stay in hospital overnight dramatically improves their quality of life, whilst also reducing the number of admissions to hospital. 

Mandie Santon, DCHS Lead Heart Failure Specialist Nurse at the Ambulatory Heart Failure Unit, said: “Our patients have really benefited from being able to receive treatment and then go back to their own homes for a good night’s sleep each night. They have a life limiting condition, so, by coming here they can spend more of their time with their loved ones and less time in hospital. It’s had such a positive impact on our patients and the feedback we’ve had has been wonderful. To hear someone say that you’ve given them their life back is so nice and we’re all so proud to have made a difference.” 

More than 200 patients with heart failure have benefited from the care provided at the Ambulatory Heart Failure Unit in the last 12 months, including David Weston, of Alvaston.

He said: “Everyone in the unit is just marvellous. One word comes to mind to describe how much they’ve helped me and that is ‘immensely’. Each member of staff has been wonderful and have always been there to give me the right care and advice when I needed it. They’ve helped me enormously to sort everything out and I can’t praise this unit enough.”

Patients with heart failure often retain fluid, as a result of the heart’s inability to pump sufficient blood around the body, with IV diuretics treatment helping to reduce fluid retention.

Last Modified 12/12/2017