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Senior nurse at British Heart Foundation stresses importance of cardiac rehabilitation programme at RCNi event

Nurse-led services to improve survival rates for patients with coronary heart disease highlighted at RCNi study day

Nurse-led services to improve survival rates for patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) highlighted at RCNi study day

Philippa Hobson
Philippa Hobson. Picture: Barney Newman

British Heart Foundation (BHF) senior cardiac nurse Philippa Hobson spoke of the importance of patients attending a cardiac rehabilitation programme, which includes providing information on their condition and lifestyle advice such as what exercise to take.

Professor Hobson said 30% of people die within the first year of being diagnosed with CHD in the UK, but thereafter mortality is less than 10% a year.

Speaking at the London event, the first in a series of RCNi study days on chronic disease management, she said latest BHF figures show 192,000 people are living with CHD in the capital and 49,000 with heart failure.

Nurse-led cardiac rehabilitation

Professor Hobson said it was 'incredibly rewarding' to see the effectiveness of nurse-led cardiac rehabilitation.

'It is far more than simply exercise, and there is considerable evidence it reduces the risk of hospitalisation and cardiac events.'

However, she added: ‘The number of people being referred to these services is much lower than we would like it to be.’

Dan Howarth
Dan Howarth. Picture: Barney Newman

Elsewhere at the event, Diabetes UK head of care Dan Howarth, a clinical nurse specialist in who has type 1 diabetes, focused his session on foot care. 

Acknowledging nurses in primary care settings only have around 15 minutes with patients, Mr Howarth told the audience: ‘By the time patients come in and take their shoes off, we’ve almost run out of time, so foot checks can get missed.’

Nurses should insist on time for proper checks

He revealed 20 people a day in England undergo diabetes-related amputations and urged nurses to lead by example and insist that time is made for proper checks.

Speaking after his session Mr Howarth added: ‘The questions nurses asked were appropriate to the session and showed they are all trying to up their game.

‘The skills you learn, and the knowledge you gain from coming to things like this, are all useful tools.'

A further five study days on chronic disease management are planned this year, taking place in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow and London.

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