Two awards for UHNM atrial fibrillation care

Pictured: Caroline Owen, Cardiology Registrar, and Kevin McGibbon, Arrhythmia Clinical Nurse Specialist, receive their award from the AF (Atrial Fibrillation) Association

UHNM has been given two Healthcare Pioneer awards by the AF (Atrial Fibrillation) Association for its projects involving the use of volunteers and analysis of patient testing:

'Better Utilisation of a Keen Volunteer Service'

'There Should be a Low Threshold for Testing Atrial Fibrillation (AF) Patients for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)'

Close partnership working between Cardiology and Respiratory has led to a new ideas on the testing of patients with AF for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Staff on the cardiology team have been utilising the skills of volunteers to provide practical assistance and enhance patient experience.

Caroline Owen, Cardiology Registrar, said: "The OSA project demonstrates the importance of holistic care when treating patients and hopefully will inspire others to screen AF patients for OSA even when they do not present with typical OSA symptoms. We were aware of limited research regarding the links between the two conditions but we also noticed we were finding a seemingly high OSA detection rate from the AF group."

Kevin McGibbon, Arrhythmia Clinical Nurse Specialist at UHNM, said: "When we first thought about using volunteers in the department to help make refreshments for patients, it was hoped that this would free up nursing staff to concentrate fully on direct patient care. But we never anticipated the added value that the volunteers have brought to the service and would strongly advocate other centres of care exploring this option."

This year the AF Association received over 30 submissions for the awards from the UK and abroad.

Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and CEO of AF Association, said: "These awards are only presented to examples of truly innovative best practice. We share reports with clinicians, commissioners and policy-makers across the globe, asking them to use these case studies as a benchmark to drive improvement in processes and patient pathways."