Welcome to the Cardiology Department. The information within these pages is designed to give you a useful summary of the specialty, the services we offer, where they are located and how to contact us.
The Cardiology Department is a regional referral centre for cardiology and cardiothoracic care.
Royal Stoke University Hospital
The department has a Coronary Care Unit and Ward 220, which has facilities for both invasive and non-invasive cardiac investigations, located in Main Building. The department has three cardiac catheter laboratories equipped with dedicated imaging equipment. This is where invasive cardiac procedures are undertaken.
The level of activity within the laboratories continues to expand year upon year. Diagnostic coronary angiography, percutaneous coronary intervention, diagnostic and therapeutic electrophysiology procedures, permanent pacemaker and implantable defibrillator implantation are all performed.
Other procedures conducted include alcoholic septal reduction for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, percutaneous closure of atrial septal defects and patent foramena ovale, as well as balloon mitral valvuloplasty. Patient and visitor access to the catheter lab suite is via the main cardiac reception.
The Cardiac Assessment Nursing team at Royal Stoke University Hospital provides 24-hour cardiac support to the hospital's A&E department, providing a cardiology opinion to around 500 patients a month, the majority of which are seen within 30 minutes of referral, and facilitates the management of a further 400 referrals a month from ambulance crews, wards and other hospitals.
This team of experienced and specially trained, advanced cardiac practitioners deliver a prompt decision-making service to patients presenting to either the emergency portals or to outpatients clinics with a wide array of cardiac symptoms. In the past, patients attending A&E with suspected cardiac problems used to remain in hospital waiting to be seen by a specialist, via admission to the medical assessment unit or referred to a rapid access clinic if further investigation was required.
At Royal Stoke, patients presenting with a cardiac problem are referred to the team, who undertake a thorough clinical assessment and formulate a management plan including diagnosis, initiation of appropriate treatment and/or arrange further cardiac investigations either as an outpatient or through direct admission to the cardiology bed base. The 24 hour / 7 day a week service allows prompt access to a specialist cardiology opinion, reducing patient admissions and reducing outpatient waiting lists. It is estimated this saves the equivalent of six bed days every day for the Trust.
As well as undertaking vital rapid assessment and management decisions about acutely ill patients, the team of ten nurses can talk to patients who aren't admitted about their symptoms, offer reassurance, discuss lifestyle advice where necessary, refer patients for outpatient tests, arrange follow up and inform their GP of the plan directly via letter.
Team lead Dot Morgan-Smith said: "Our senior cardiac nurses have an average of 15 years' experience. To prepare for this role we also trained for a minimum of three years, including general health assessments, independent prescribing, and studying for a postgraduate diploma/MSc in cardiology."
As well as being on-hand to assess in Royal Stoke's busy A&E department, the team also run the rapid access chest pain service, and several arrhythmia and general cardiology clinics providing prompt outpatient assessment and investigation, to diagnose and manage a range of Cardiological presentations. The team also provide a Monday to Friday Advanced Cardiac Practitioner service to the cardiology wards, supporting the junior medical staff to facilitate inpatient diagnostics and making autonomous decisions on patient discharge to facilitate patient flow across the bed base. The on call 'twilight shift' across the 68 beds after 1600 is supported by a junior doctor and a practitioner.
The Cardiac Assessment Nursing team won the British Heart Foundation Alliance Team of the Year in 2017 and also scooped the British Medical Journal Cardiology Team of the Year in the same year.
Echocardiograhpy is ultrasound examination of the heart. It is a non-invasive test. The echocardiography department is one of the busiest within cardiology. The majority of the work is carried out by skilled cardiac technicians, all with British Society of Echocardiography accreditation. Additional support from cardiology specialist registrars is also given.
In addition to transthoracic echo we perform transoesophageal studies, dobutamine stress echo and 3D echo reconstruction within the unit. The facilities are predominantly based within the main department, but facilities are also available at the central outpatient department.
This is an active and expanding programme which takes place in partnership with the Trust's Imaging Directorate. The MRI scanner is located in the main radiology department.
The Directorate has successfully introduced exercise testing, and a number of medically supervised tests are being performed. Exercise testing facilities are based both in the cardiology department and the out-patient department.
Ambulatory electrocardiography (out-patient monitoring of heart rhythmn) is run from the main cardiology department. 24 hour and 48 hour continuous holter monitoring as well as Recollect ECG loop recording systems are utilised. Access for patients is via the main reception.
There is a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation programme run by a Rehabilitation Co-ordinator. Rehabilitation invovles supervised exercise in a fully equipped gymnasium by an exercise physiologist. There is also a series of counselling and education sessions.
The service provides a comprehensive support and follow up programme for patients recovering from a heart attack, as well as for post-surgical patients.
We provide a nurse led out-patient based heart failure service, to provide support and close follow up. This service has robust consultant support and works in close collaboration with primary care colleagues. There is a weekly rapid access heart failure clinic for GP referrals and an established multidisciplinary heart failure team.
We run seven RACP clinics per week. These are staffed by skilled chest pain nurse specialists, specialist registrars and foundation doctors, as well as being supported by the on-call consultant of the week.
The clinics are open to GP referrals in order to assess stable patients reporting chest pain. Patients are seen within two weeks of the referral. Those who attend undergo both a clinical assessment as well as a treadmill exercise test (where able).
Listening to the message from heart failure patients
Smart with your heart is a pilot project which aims to help reduce the number of people with chronic long term heart failure from being readmitted to hospital.
Up to 70 per cent of people leaving hospital with heart failure are admitted to hospital again within 12 months of going home. This can be due to people gradually becoming more unwell at home and then being unsure of what help is available.
The project will see 300 people recruited to use three digital services to help them understand and manage their own condition with confidence. The pilot will run until 1 January 2020.
UHNM is to working in partnership with digital companies, using their new, commercially available technology and the Midland Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, including the community heart failure team.
The first digital service will enable patients to respond to text messages asking how they are feeling compared to their last text message (same, better or worse) and these responses will be recorded by a telehealth co-ordinator.
By doing this, patients will be more closely monitored and will be able to more smoothly access care in the community, should they need it, before they become acutely unwell, reducing the need to return to hospital.
The second digital service will give patients exclusive access to an online health library to help them improve their own self-care behaviours.
The third digital service will refer patients to trusted third sector or voluntary sector organisations, such as bereavement counselling or citizens advice or to offer patients opportunities to engage in community groups and activities such as dance classes, allotment working or walking groups.
The wellbeing of patients and improvements in their quality of life through social prescribing can help reduce GP attendances and improve patients' general physical health.
Patients taking part will be given access to an online account with Recap Health to enable them to access educational information designed and approved specifically for the individual.
Videos, leaflets and webpages will be available for patients to download with the option to be able to send feedback about the content or request additional information.
Patients will also be set up on 'Florence' which is an interactive text phone service and is checked weekly. One of our team will contact a patient if they respond to the text message that they are not feeling as well as they were.
There are a number of organisations who provide support in the community and can help people with any problems that patients may be experiencing as a result of heart failure. These include anxiety, depression, housing and finances. A referral can be made if necessary, to a digital tool called 'I Navigator' for patients to find additional support in these areas.
In order to take part, patients will need:
A mobile phone that can send and receive text messages.
An e mail address.
To be able to read and text in English (or have a carer who will do this on your behalf).
To live in the North Staffordshire area.
Those wishing to take part will in the pilot will be put in contact with a Telehealth Co-ordinator who will explain in more detail what is involved including how to set up 'Florence' and the Recap Health Digital Library. You will also be given the opportunity to ask questions.
Patients will be required to be part of the project for a maximum of three months, however, you can stop being part of the project at any stage you may wish.
Your care will not be affected in anyway by not taking part in the project.
Privacy Notice - How we use your information – NHS Test Beds Project 'Smart With Your Heart - Listening to Patients with Heart Failure'
The law determines how organisations can use personal information. The key laws are: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) the Health and Social Care Act 2016, and the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), relevant health service legislation and the common law duty of confidentiality.
On the University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) Trust (the Trust) Privacy Notice (which can be found here you can find information explaining how the Trust manages your data to comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
The Trust recognises the importance of protecting personal and confidential information in all that we do and all we direct or commission, and takes care to meet its legal duties and takes its obligations around data protection, confidentiality and information security seriously. As part of those obligations and to ensure that we meet our obligations under the Data Protection legislation, we are required to be open and transparent with regard to how we process your information.
This transparency is referred to as a 'Privacy Notice' (also known as a Fair Processing Notice) and the following information relates specifically to the data we collect and process as part of the 'Smart with your Heart – Listening to the Patients with Heart Failure' project.
How to access your information
The Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018 gives you the right to see the information that UHNM holds about you, how and why we process your data, and who we will share your data with. Find out more on our Health Records page .
Smart with Your Heart – Listening to Patients with Heart Failure
This notice is a statement that describes how UHNM collects, uses, retains and discloses your personal information in relation to the Smart with Your Heart project.
To ensure that we process your personal data fairly and lawfully we are required to inform you:
Why we need your data
How it will be used and processed
Who it will be shared with
The Trust is also required to explain to you what rights you have to control how we use your information and this information can be found on the Trust website here.
The 'Smart with Your Heart – Listening to the messages from Patients with Heart Failure' initiative is a service evaluation project aiming to assess the impact of early detection of pre-hospital deteriorating health, in patients previously admitted with heart failure.
To access the service, which is delivered digitally either via a text-based service or web-based system, you will need to provide a mobile phone number for use by our digital partners which will allow you to access the service and by so doing, will allow us to evaluate this service and by signing a copy of the Terms & Conditions contained in the pack provided to you by your Heart Failure Nurse. A copy of the Terms & Conditions is contained at the end of this notice.
We will need to collect, on a voluntary basis, basic demographic information (Name, Address DOB) for the project itself and then later on, we will need to collect additional information about your health so that we can evaluate the project and its outcomes. This evaluation will be done by the Trust Research & Development team working alongside two external evaluators. The complete list of information categories that we will be collecting throughout the project are listed below:
- Address (inc. Postcode)
- Phone Number/Mobile Number
- NHS Number
- GP details
- Racial or Ethnic origin
- Health information (physical and mental)
- Any Hospital admissions data (date of admission, length of stay etc.)
This information will be shared with our partners in this project:
Simple Healthcare (FLO Telehealth)
Health2Works (for Recap Health Library)
Signum Health (for iNavigator)
These organisations are providing the Trust with digital technology to allow patients to upload their data for monitoring and service evaluation; to enable patients to receive information leaflets and to facilitate onward referral to other clinicians or service providers, if appropriate. The Trust will be auditing the feedback from patients for the purposes of improving patient outcomes in the area of Heart Failure.
The Trust has taken steps to assure itself that our digital partners meet the legislated requirements in terms of Cyber Security.
To allow us to collate, process and evaluate your information, we are relying on the following, to provide the legal basis:
GDPR Article 6(1)(e) -Public Interest for the demographic information, and
GDPR Article 9(2)(h) – Provision of health or social care for the medical information
The Terms and Conditions that have been produced by our 3 digital partners can be found here – these will need to be reviewed and signed by patients before embarking on the project.
If you have any comments relating to this initiative and the data sharing required, please contact the Data Protection Officer in the first instance (DPO.UHNM@uhnm.nhs.uk).
If you wish to make a complaint about this project or about how the Trust processes your information, you should contact the Complaints Department (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the first instance.