Supporting patients and families
Improving the service for heart patients
A new clinical nurse specialist role has been created especially for one of the dedicated cardiology services at Guy’s and St Thomas’, all thanks to your donations.
Randolph Ramuran has been in post since February 2018 and ensures each patient under the extraction service has full support, from referral through to - and beyond - discharge.
The Electro Physiology (EP) and Pacing service looks after patients who have devices, such as pacemakers, fitted to help the heart function as well as possible.
The new role focuses specifically on extractions, which is when a device has to be removed due to a problem with the equipment itself or because of infection.
Each patient follows a pathway in terms of their care and management. Randolph’s responsibility is to coordinate each aspect of the patients’ pathway. This includes liaising with other hospitals that have referred patients, pre-assessment of patients, looking after them on the ward and helping with discharge and aftercare plans.
The clinical nurse specialist is the first point of contact for the patient if they have any queries or problems, aiming to provide a streamlined experience for them throughout.
‘There’s plenty of evidence that shows that good communication and support for the patient means they’re more likely to follow what they need to do,’ explains Dan Wicks, matron in cardiovascular specialities. ‘As well as how a patient progresses while they’re in hospital, their outcomes will be better if they have the right support to make the most of the procedure they’ve had through their lifestyle afterwards. Having a person to coordinate all that is essential.’
The new role will also oversee arranging appointments and procedures, which will help speed the process up. Ultimately this should lead to an improvement in the amount of patients the department sees, so that waiting times go down.
A special kind of support
Randolph views the patient contact as the most important aspect to his role.
‘I enjoy being on the ward and meeting patients, especially when I see their progression,’ he says. ‘From first speaking to them on the phone or seeing them when they’re not well, to afterwards when they’ve had the procedure you can see the relief they have and help make plans for them.
‘I like to try and build trust with them, so they know they can get the right support.’
An amazing opportunity, thanks to donations
The role is being supported for one year, which Dan views as a positive step towards a permanent post hopefully being implemented by the Trust in the future.
‘Without the support of donations, we wouldn’t be able to have this role,’ says Dan. ‘It’s given us a buffer to get something in place so in the future we can present the case for how well it’s working. It’s amazing to have this opportunity for the service.’
Funding from donations can be vital to helping grow a service and deliver top quality care to as many patients as possible. Find out more about how you can support Guy’s and St Thomas’ as it strives to achieve this.
Lead image: Randolph Ramuran and Dan Wicks, clinical nurse specialist and matron in cardiology services.