Find out what causes heart failure, where the heart does not have enough strength to pump blood around the body, including the symptoms to look out for and how it can be treated.
Heart failure is a common progressive condition which can be distressing, disabling and life-limiting. It affects an estimated 900,000 people in the UK.1 One million inpatient bed days are attributable to heart failure in the UK each year.2
Managing heart failure is challenging as patients are often from an older age group and may require social support.
Many older people with heart failure, also have other long-term conditions, requiring different medications. This means they may receive treatment from a number of different health professionals, which can result in fragmented care.
Heart failure specialist nurse (HFSN) services are now well established in many areas of the UK. However, some gaps still remain in service provision and staffing levels in certain localities.
For instance, some clinical commissioning groups are decommissioning heart failure community services due to financial pressures. This could have significant health implications for the local population.
The right pathway, appropriate treatment and support means that survival rates, experience of care and quality of life for many people living with heart failure can dramatically improve.
We tested an innovative community and home-based heart failure programme led by HFSNs. The Big Lottery Fund funded the 76 heart failure specialist nurse posts in 26 NHS primary care organisations in England.
We administered the funds, managed and supported nurses and provided professional development to help shape the roles and services.
Establishing community nurse-led heart failure services and adopting a multi-disciplinary team approach can:
Our clinical summary explaining the evidence behind an integrated approach to managing heart failure in a community setting, including an implementation proposal and calculated cost savings.
Find out more about these evaluated services.
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Interested in setting up or integrating your own community-based heart failure specialist nurse service? Our Business Case Toolkit could help you make your case.
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1 Conrad, N. et al (2017) Temporal trends and patterns in heart failure incidence: a population-based study of 4 million individuals. The Lancet, Volume 391, Issue 10120, 572-580
2 NICE (2018) Chronic heart failure in adults: diagnosis and management. NICE clinical guideline 108.