The Care Plus Group Community Cardiology Service is now up and running. The service is based in the community at Weelsby View (Ladysmith Road) for four days of the week and Immingham (Roxton practice) on Mondays. The team consists of Dr Rob Bain (Consultant Cardiologist), Rachel Jones (Advanced Clinical Physiologist and expert Echocardiographer), John Loughborough (Senior Cardiac Nurse with a special interest in Heart Failure) and Wendy Fenwick (Administrative Assistant).
The team aims to deliver front line cardiology outpatient services to appropriate patients with a particular emphasis on heart failure, atrial fibrillation and open access echocardiography (cardiac ultrasound). General cardiology patients that are felt to be appropriate to an outpatient management setting are also to be seen.
The thought behind the service is that many patients that are seen (and indeed continue to be followed-up) in secondary care could more appropriately be seen and dealt with in primary care if the necessary facilities, expertise and confidence was present in the primary care setting. The service is not meant to be a replication of local secondary care cardiac outpatients but more a complementary service where patients, in whom there is a low expectation that more extensive and invasive investigations are necessary, can be seen hopefully in a more responsive way with greater scope for greater continuity of care.
Heart Failure service: The heart failure service will run as per NICE guidelines. Patients with a high probability of heart failure (symptoms, previous heart attack/ECG abnormalities) will be seen at a ‘one stop clinic’ where they will have an echocardiogram, see the Consultant Cardiologist and Specialist Heart Failure Nurse at one visit with a maximum two week wait. Patients with possible/suspected heart failure (symptoms and raised BNP) but without high risk features would similarly have a one stop clinic appointment but with a maximum six week wait.
Open Access Echocardiography: We are offering an open access echocardiography service at both sites. This is for patients in whom echocardiography is felt to be valuable to define possible underlying conditions such as cardiomyopathy, hypertensive heart disease, possible LV dysfunction or to evaluate the importance or otherwise of a heart murmur.
Atrial Fibrillation: Patients with AF can be very straightforward or remarkably difficult for any number of reasons. If it is felt that a patient might benefit from a specialist opinion to help with decisions regards rate/rhythm control, anticoagulation or defining whether the AF is secondary to any underlying condition then referral to the community service would be welcome.
General cardiology: Referral of general cardiology patients for advice is also welcome. Clearly if it is felt that a patient is likely to need extensive or invasive investigations more appropriate to secondary care then that referral route would be more appropriate.
The team really wants to be a resource to primary care generally and is committed to delivering educational support to practices whether that be to GP’s, practice nurses, junior doctors, the rapid response team, palliative care or indeed anyone else who feels we may be able to help them in their clinical practice or educational needs. If anyone has any suggestions as to how we might help them, then please forward to our central mailbox: CPG.CommunityCardiologyService@nhs.net
Dr Rob Bain: Rob will be well known to many of you as he has worked in the local hospital as a Consultant Cardiologist for 25 years setting up the local secondary care cardiology services. He went to school in London before studying at Bristol University (BSC Hons in Zoology) and Manchester University (MSc) before starting medicine at Liverpool University (MBChB) graduating in 1980. He predominately worked around the Merseyside area but also spent two years in Birmingham researching in the area of heart failure leading to his MD.
Rachel Jones: Rachel also started as a ‘southerner’ going to school in Basingstoke before starting work in Grimsby. She graduated from DeMontfort University in Leicester with a 1st class honours BSc degree in Clinical Physiology (Cardiology) in 2008 and subsequently has specialised in echocardiography. She is British Society of Echocardiography accredited and remains a supervisor and examiner for the BSE exams. She was head of the local cardiology department in Grimsby.
John Loughborough: John (unlike the other two) is a local northern lad going to Havelock school in Grimsby. He went to (the now defunct) Grimsby School of Nursing. On graduating he worked in the coronary care unit at Southend Hospital. Subsequently he migrated further south working in the world renowned cardiac departments at the London Chest Hospital and the Brompton. He saw the error of his ways in working in the South and moved back North to work in the Cardio-Thoracic ward at Castle Hill Hospital. Finally he saw the light and returned to Grimsby in 1996 to take up the newly established post of cardiac rehabilitation nurse, developing that service before then becoming the inaugural heart failure nurse initiating and developing that service locally in 2012.
Wendy Fenwick: Wendy is the team’s Administrative Assistant and deals with referrals, appointments, queries and external correspondence. Wendy has been with the Care Plus Group for over a year and has very recently joined our team. After leaving school in 1985 Wendy has had several roles in the administrative field including the legal, fishing, care and farming sectors. During this time Wendy completed her Business & Admin levels II & III enabling her to gain employment with the Care Plus Group in 2015.
Wendy joins the Cardiology team to assist with all administrative and reception roles.
Please see us as your local cardiology team and contact us with any questions you have about the service:
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