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Manx Care and Manx Heart Foundation collaborate to double provision of Heart Failure service

Manx Care has worked closely with the Manx Heart Foundation to create a new role within its Heart Failure service, through an “apprenticeship” model that will improve patient outcomes going forward.

Pictured (L-R): Karen Chiarello (Chair of Manx Heart Foundation), Marie Webster (Heart Failure Specialist), Grace O’Hagan (Heart Failure Specialist), Paul Moore (Executive Director of Nursing), and Joanne Standish (Associate Director of Nursing, Medicine, Urgent & Emergency Care and Ambulance Service)

The Manx Heart Foundation has been a registered charity in the Isle of Man for a number of years, officially changing its name from “British Heart Foundation (Isle of Man)” in 2018. The team are committed to ensuring that all funds raised stay on the Island and are used on practical projects that will make a tangible difference to cardiac care.

Over the years, the charity has spent over a half a million pounds on necessary equipment such as echocardiogram (ECG) machines, blood gas analysers, defibrillators, and more recently an additional Echo machine, which enables more patients to be seen and scanned. This machine also allows children to be tested locally, rather than going across to the UK.

Until recently, their support has generally been in the form of hardware, however, in the last year and a half, they have focused their resources on the people delivering cardiac services.

Their first venture of this kind was for Manx Care’s Coronary Care Unit (CCU) Nurse Erica Bradley, who was supported in completing her postgraduate diploma in Cardiology. There are currently two CCU Nurses (Juvy Pabellan and Collette Nelson), who were supported in taking the Society for Cardiological Science & Technology Diploma in ECG Interpretation. This was vital training for their role, treating and testing patients on the CCU.

Following this, their most recent project has been another training opportunity, this time for the Heart Failure Service.

The Heart Failure Service is designed for those people who have impaired heart function, which results in symptoms of breathlessness and fluid retention. This service had one Heart Failure Nurse for the last few years, who was experiencing an ever-increasing caseload.

In response to this, the Manx Heart Foundation was pleased to agree funding for CCU Nurse Grace O’Hagan to undertake the postgraduate course in Heart Failure Management in Clinical Practice, at Keele University. However, it soon became clear that in order to fulfil the clinical aspects of the course, it would be more beneficial for Grace to work within the Heart Failure service, effectively doubling the service provision, and allowing her to become fully qualified in the process.

Therefore, Manx Care and the Manx Heart Foundation have collaborated to create a second position within the service, with a view to improved patient outcomes going forward. We are now a month into the programme, and Grace is progressing fantastically both clinically and academically.

Karen Chiarello, Chair of Manx Heart Foundation, said: “We are so excited about this new venture. It is very gratifying to be able to provide service improvements by helping the team who deliver these services.”

Joanne Standish, Associate Director of Nursing at Manx Care, said: “We’re so pleased to be working with the Manx Heart Foundation on another project, which will benefit not only our patients but also our colleagues. We are really grateful that the charity shares our patient-centred outlook, and are optimistic that this will create a number of service improvements.”

The Manx Heart Foundation’s website can be found here.

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