Heart failure specialist nurses
Heart failure specialist
nurses (HFSNs) provide care and advice to heart failure
patients in their own home, helping to keep them out
of hospital and improving their quality of life.
They forge strong bonds with patients and their families,
understanding their needs and concerns. They co-ordinate a shared
care approach with other members of the clinical and social
We currently support over 400 heart failure
There are around 700,000
people in the UK today with definite heart failure, with around
63,000 new cases each year.
Heart failure accounts for five percent of all
emergency medical admissions and almost two percent of the NHS
budget is spent on heart failure patients (NICE Chronic Heart
Failure Guidelines, 2003).
Based on the success of our 2002 pilot
scheme, funding 16 heart failure posts in the
community, the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) funded an additional
76 posts in England for three years in 2004.
The success of this project was clear:
- An average reduction in heart
failure admissions of 43%
- An average estimated saving,
per heart failure patient, of £1,826
- A total saving to the NHS of
over £8,000,000 over the 12 month sample
Read more about the project in the
Our nurses at work
Jonathan is a community HFSN
based in the East Midlands. He has been a BHF healthcare
professional for eight years.
"Since I was at school I knew
that I wanted to work with people and not be in an
office. I became a cadet with St John’s Ambulance and it is from
here I decided that I wanted to help people. This led me to
undertake work experience at my local community hospital and it was
then I became inspired to do nursing.
The whole family was helped to feel more secure as a result of Jonathan’s involvement and care
"I love the variety of the role and seeing
such a diverse group of patients. The patients I see can be
very ill and in need of support.
"Being able to provide this gives me so much
reward and a sense that I have been able to make a
difference to that person, their carer and their quality
The support Jonathan provides is
greatly valued by the patients he works with. As one family
member felt moved to tell us.
“Both mum and dad very much
appreciated the support Jonathan gave to them
through his regular visits, and they came to regard Jonathan as a
family friend as well as valuable support.
"In fact, the whole family was helped to feel
more secure as a result of Jonathan’s involvement and care.”