Cardiology We ask three specialists about the future of treating Heart failure within the community.
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The number of people with heart failure is increasingly dramatically as we live longer.
Prof Ken Mc Donald
Professor Ken Mc Donald, Consultant Cardiologist
Heart failure remains one of the major health challenges to our society. On a positive note the Health Service Executive in Ireland have initiated a strategy to place specialised cardiology-led heart failure teams in all admitting hospitals and in addition have been piloting early diagnosis and prevention programmes in the community.
The challenge ahead will be to provide adequate resources to the community and hospital services to allow all patients with this illness benefit from the undoubted advances that have been made over the last number of years.
Ms Liz Killeen, Community Clinical Nurse Specialist Heart Failure and Registered Nurse Prescriber. Co. Galway
I have worked as a community clinical nurse specialist in heart failure for the last seven years as part of the Galway community heart failure management programme.
Chronic conditions like heart failure require ongoing support. Nurse led clinics held across the county ensure the service is accessible for patients locally. My focus is on providing an individualised care approach including providing self-management skills to patients.
As a registered nurse prescriber I support GP’s in optimising medication, aiming to improve the health & quality of life for patients and enhanced continuity of care after an acute phase of illness to avoid readmission to hospital.
Joe Gallagher, General Practitioner, Gorey, Co Wexford
The number of people with heart failure is increasingly dramatically as we live longer and more people develop conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. It has a huge impact on patients and their families.
Allied to the development of heart failure teams in hospitals it is imperative that we improve access to diagnostics and develop structured, resourced care in general practice for chronic diseases such as heart failure.
This will help prevent conditions such as heart failure developing and will ensure people can remain well in the community and be cared for appropriately near their homes.