My job title is lead advanced care practitioner for cardiac support services. I am based at NDDH, but I travel out to hold heart failure clinics in the community hospitals and I also visit patients at home as part of my clinical duties.
2. What says ‘Christmas’ to you?
Christmas to me is seeing all the lights and the decorations everywhere. I also love the smell of a real Christmas tree! However I have a cat who rather likes Christmas trees too and is on a mission to destroy all decorations as quickly as possible.
3. Top tip for a great Christmas?
My tip for Christmas is to relax and make the most of any time off you get with family and friends. I have to remind myself that it is not about finding the perfect presents, or cooking the perfect dinner, but about enjoying the company of those I love.
4. Is there anything that happened in 2019 that you feel thankful for, or anyone you’d like to thank?
This year has been great! Thanks to the determination and hard work of my colleague Angela Tithecott, we have been given approval to expand our service and set up an inpatient heart failure service. We are confident that this service will enhance the patient experience and also be very supportive to the clinicians on the wards. This would not have happened without the kind support of Dr Christopher Gibbs, Katherine Smith and Di Addington, to whom we are very grateful.
Our whole team has worked really hard this year and the service development/ improvement ideas just keep coming from them all. We have all supported each other through any challenges that have presented, and I am really proud of how our whole team pulls together to make sure we provide the best care possible for our patients.
5. Have you got a goal for 2020?
As well as getting the inpatient heart failure service off the ground in 2020 (we are interviewing for a new team member this month), there is so much more we would like to do. In view of the workforce challenges being faced across the health service as a whole, looking at new ways of doing things is essential. Next year we will hope to explore more ways in which roles can be developed to support the ever-growing population of cardiology patients in North Devon.
I would also like to raise the profile of cardiovascular disease and contribute to national awareness campaigns. More than twice as many people are living with heart and circulatory diseases than with cancer and Alzheimer’s disease combined (British Heart Foundation, 2019), so improving public knowledge about the symptoms and impact of heart disease is essential.