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30 Nov 2021

Ministerial praise for cardiac care advances to help at-risk patients at Portlaoise hospital

Minister Donnelly welcomes Sláintecare funded improvements

Advances in cardiac care at Portlaoise hospital helping at risk patients

Norah Peyton, Dr Sean Fleming, Dr Mohamad Shafi Rummun, Shirley Rowan Maher, Sandra McCarthy, Karen Kelly, Geraldine Kelly

A new Sláintecare funded heart service at Portlaoise hspital is improving care and access to services for heart failure patients, according to the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.

In a rare statement about the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise, from the Department of Health, the Minster welcomed the introduction of an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) in Cardiology.

The statement says the service  at the Laois hospital which is funded by the Department of Health through the Sláintecare Integration Fund, it is improving patient access and continuity of care. The Department adds that it is also providing an opportunity to extend the service and implement new care pathways, referral pathways and services for patients with and at risk of heart failure.    

"Patients and their carers in Laois are experiencing better access to services, as well as health outcomes and a better quality of life," said Minister Donnelly.

He continued: "Patients with or at risk of developing heart failure, or presenting to GPs with signs of heart failure, can now be seen and treated by an ANP and Consultant Cardiologist in the Rapid Risk Assessment Clinic.   

“In collaboration with the local community intervention team, patients can be reviewed and have blood tests done by a nurse in their home when required. Meanwhile, an initiative introduced by the Heart Optimisation nurses is allowing for remote monitoring of patients’ blood pressure, heart rate and weight at home. These improvements in services are saving patients hours of travel time and expenses now that they can access care closer to home and avoid a trip to Portlaoise hospital,” said the health minister.   

The statement added that recent results from the service show that:  

  • High-risk patients are now seen within 24 to 48 hours 
  • Most patients have an appointment within two weeks, while less urgent patients are seen within 3 to 4 weeks  
  • An estimated 418 bed days have been saved thanks to reduced hospital admission and shortened length of stay  
  • Readmission for heart failure has reduced by over 80% in patients attending the post discharge heart failure service  
      

Minister Donnelly concluded: “With heart failure accounting for 5% of all emergency admissions in Ireland, this is a wonderful of example of Sláintecare reform delivering better outcomes and experiences of our health service for all.”  

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