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Collaborative heart failure project shortlisted for HSJ Patient Safety Award

A pioneering collaborative pilot project improving the care and experience of heart failure patients has been shortlisted for a HSJ Patient Safety Award. 

‘Education. Education. Education. Giving heart failure patients the education that they really really want when they want it’, aims to improve patient’s understanding of their condition through holistic clinics delivered by a specially-trained patient educator.

The project is a collaboration between UHNM, Midlands Partnership University Foundation Trust (MPFT), Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Integrated Care Board and the Pumping Marvelous Foundation heart failure charity.

Dr Duwarakan Satchithananda, Consultant Cardiologist at UHNM and MPFT said: “Patient education delivered by specialist nurses is a cornerstone of developing patient understanding, engagement, and self-management for heart failure. However, the time for this education within a standard patient consultation are reduced by increased demand for services and post-covid pressures. We wanted people with lived experience to tell us what they should have been taught about their heart failure to have helped them live better with heart failure, even sooner.

“We co-produced a checklist for heart failure to guide education in comparison to a current practice. Patients also helped us develop two ‘barometers’, one to prioritise each element of the checklist in keeping with what is important to them at the time education was delivered, and a second for patients to tell us how well they felt they understood each checklist criteria after an education session. We also used a novel approach to delivering heart failure education by allied clinical roles to free up specialist time.

“The outcomes with using a dedicated non-clinical patient educator has produced excellent patient feedback and has demonstrated better patient understanding of the checklist criteria than with usual care. The use of the patient educator could increase the capacity of specialist services by freeing time, normally allocated to education, to help patients with more complex needs in a more timely manner. We feel that this approach could also be applied to improve education for other health conditions.”

The winners will be announced during an awards ceremony in Manchester on Monday 16 September.