At The Heart Of It

Amanda Crundall
Amanda Crundall – BSc (Hons), DipHe RN, INP, FESC, Post Grad Heart Failure

Where did January go!

Seems a bit late to be wishing you all a Happy New Year but it’s been an exciting month with the launch of our heart failure educational and mentorship programme.

The programme is delivered over 2 days; a day focussing on the management of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) followed by a clinical shadowing day. Both days being arranged 2 weeks apart.

The theory day is a blend of theory, discussion and case studies. The clinical shadowing day is real life clinical supervision in a live primary care clinic…

So how did this work and how did it go?

The patients were booked to a primary care clinic with the health care professional (in this case a clinical pharmacist) as per normal practice routine. The patient’s consent was obtained for the consultation to be held jointly with myself (facilitated through Microsoft Teams) and the rationale for supervision explained.

The clinical pharmacist and the patient could see the computer screen where there was open dialogue all together. The pharmacist introduced the HF review and how the consultation would progress.

During the consultation, the pharmacist ‘checked in’ where necessary for guidance and a treatment discussion with myself as the heart failure nurse specialist. The consultation was very open and transparent and gave the patient reassurance about a new heart failure review clinic at the practice.

The Microsoft Team’s approach was very easy to use, the sound and communication worked incredibly well and it felt like I was in the consultation room with the pharmacist and patient! 

As a nurse specialist I found this consultation style refreshing, forward thinking and easier than I thought to conduct.

As the pandemic has taught us how to be more creative with how we review patients; this video consultation approach has shown to be beneficial and very practical in accessing supervision for health care professionals.

Primary care has been tasked with reviewing patients with heart failure as part of the quality and Outcomes Framework. Patients with heart failure should have at least an annual HF review with medication optimisation focus. We regularly find that primary care health professionals are in need of education and support in managing patients with heart failure.

Ongoing time pressures on the specialist and generalist teams can make finding time to train fellow health care professionals difficult.

If we can complement what is or not currently available in your region; please do get in touch and we can create a bespoke package for your colleagues undertaking primary care heart failure reviews.

Please note: Guidance and therapy discussions were in accordance with National Guidance and local prescribing protocols.

You can contact me by email: