Survey of heart failure nurses

In 2005 NCPC explored the relationship between heart failure nurses and palliative care services by undertaking a survey of heart failure nurse specialists (HFNS) working in England. The findings from the 152 responses received were published in Focus on Heart Failure: A national survey of heart failure nurses and their involvement with palliative care services (links to the document in our online library).

Since 2005 a national strategy for end of life care in England has been launched and several tools developed to ensure palliative care is available to people with all conditions, including heart failure. Keen to determine whether these policy developments have had an impact on the level of integration between heart failure and specialist palliative care services, NCPC's Heart Failure Group repeated the survey in 2010.

An updated version of the questionnaire was sent out via cardiac networks and a good response rate was received. This time the survey was sent to the whole of UK, although the majority of the responses came from England.

Findings: 2005 vs 2010

The two surveys indicate that there is a growing relationship between heart failure nurses and specialist palliative care teams. 174 heart failure nurses working in England responded to the 2010 survey, with key findings including that:

    • Almost all heart failure nurses (97%) agree that specialist palliative care (‘SPC’) has a role in the care of people with advanced heart failure. More nurses are referring to SPC, with the number not referring halving from 29% to 14% in 2010.
    • 82% of heart failure nurses report having palliative care training needs. This remains unchanged since 2005, reinforcing the need for ongoing training.
    • Nurses most commonly said the existence of local pathways incorporating heart failure and palliative care improves access to SPC in their area (67%).

The findings were published in:

HF Survey cover

Good practice: Sample referral guidelines

As part of the 2010 survey we asked nurses to submit a copy of guidelines  developed locally for referral of people with heart failure to specialist palliative care. The following services gave permission for us to share their guidelines and contact details. (NB: this does not to represent a NCPC endorsement of any one referral criteria, simply sharing of good practice)

Bradford and Airedale PCT

Download [PDF]

Contact

Pauline Park

Heart Failure Nurse, Eccleshill Clinic

Tel: 01274 322187

Email: Pauline.Park@bradford.nhs.uk


Brent PCT

Download [PDF]

Contact

Dr Mark Dancy

Heart Failure Lead for Brent

Email: Mark.Dancy@nwlh.nhs.uk


Lincolnshire Community Health Services

Download [PDF]

Contact

Rachael Gavin

Heart Failure Complex Case Manager

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust

Tel: 01522 340900 (ext. 205)

Email: Rachael.Gavin@lpct.nhs.uk

Jane Scrafton

Tel: 01522 340900 (ext. 205)

Email: jane.scrafton@lpct.nhs.uk


Merseyside & Cheshire

Download [PDF]

Contact

Barbara Flowers

Heart Failure Specialist Nurse

Tel: 01704 704648  (ext. 4648)

Email: barbara.flowers@nhs.net


North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire Cardiac & Stroke Network

Download [PDF]

Contact

Christine Merrick

Community Cardiac Specialist Nurse

Macmillan Wolds/GP Unit, Bridlington & District Hospital

Tel: 01262 423114

Email: Christine.merrick@humber.nhs.uk


Stratford

Download [PDF]

Contact

Lilian Smith-Vincent

Heart Failure Specialist Nurse, Stratford Hospital

Email: Lilian.Smith-Vincent@swft.nhs.uk


Torbay Trust

Download [PDF]

Contact

Tim Chester

Heart Failure Nurse

Paignton Hospital

Tel: 07798745940

Email: tim.chester@nhs.net


The existence of referral guidelines for people with heart failure is very encouraging.

Please contact us if you have developed local guidelines you would like to share, or comments about this work generally. Please email policy@ncpc.org.uk