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Patient Voices: Stories from the NHS Heart Improvement Programme


Stories from the NHS Heart Improvement Programme

These stories look at the work of the NHS Heart Improvement Programme from the varied perspectives of nurses, patients and the national team, who are working to improve care for people suffering from coronary heart disease.

Lost in time
Following admission to A&E, ‘John’ waits for 20 months for an angiogram and referral to a specialist hospital while his health deteriorates.

18 weeks…here we go again
Perhaps the 18-week target is more likely to become a reality if there is a genuine understanding of what it means to patients.

Caring for staff as well as patients
A nurse in charge of a coronary care unit is pleased to be able to improve services for patients and her staff through the introduction of a specialist cardiac transfer service.

Why collaborate?
A brief history of the Heart Improvement Programme celebrates the real improvements in services to patients that are the result of working collaboratively and building networks of doctors, nurses and patients.

Our new christmas tree
The patient journey is only part of the larger journey of life…when Steve Jones has a heart attack just before Christmas, he faces a dilemma: will his hospitalisation interfere with his wife’s 50th birthday party, which has been planned for months?

A common language?
The chief officer of the NHS Heart Improvement Programme wants to make a difference – and, with a little help from his friends, he does so.

A tap on the shoulder
Following heart bypass surgery, one patient decides to get involved – and reaps the benefits.

Getting the balance right
End-of-life care is both challenging and inspiring. When a palliative care nurse recognises that patients with heart failure deserve the same kind of care received by patients with cancer or HIV/AIDs, he sets out to ‘even things up’ in order to ensure a peaceful and dignified death for these patients.

Primary and community care: working at the hub
Improving patient care across all cardiac services is a tall order. In primary care, the things that have made a difference are: good (and constant!) communication, offering people something they need, sharing lessons and best practice and always doing what you say you will do.

A moving story
An experienced nurse’s eyes were opened by hearing discovery interviews with patients, which led to service improvements benefiting the NHS, its staff and, most importantly, the patients who are now better informed and in receipt of much higher quality care.

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