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Chief Nurse's Blog

Chief Nurse’s Blog

Date of release: 11 August 2020

Latest News: Ann-Marie Cannaby Blog

In this week’s blog I want to highlight more of the excellent innovative work going on around the Trust.

One idea that has taken off recently with outstanding success is the new, drive-through service for patients to have their pacemakers checked at New Cross Hospital.

A kiosk has opened up just outside the Heart & Lung Centre, where patients can have their devices looked at while they wait. Not having to go inside the hospital means patients do not have to queue, have their temperature taken, undergo a screening, fill in a questionnaire or wait with a relative in the waiting room.

The service runs from 8.40am to 5.00pm daily, where staffing allows, and on some weekends.

Emma Painter, Deputy Manager of Cardiac Rhythm Management Services developed the service after seeing something similar at a hospital in Surrey. The service was introduced here to help reduce contact with patients because of COVID-19 and ease a backlog of around 800 cases after the pandemic. So far, around 240 patients have been seen.

Emma and her colleague Lydia Bradley, a Physiologist and the Cardiac Rhythm Management Service Lead, are delivering the service with members of their team. Feedback has been extremely positive from patients and relatives alike and the staff enjoy working there.

When it was first introduced, patients were being seen every 15 to 20 minutes but staff felt they could reduce the appointment slots to every 10 mins. They decided to conduct a week-long trial with patients seen every 10 mins, which works better, so that has been introduced.

Patients say the drive-through clinic is really easy to find, quick and efficient. Everything is done so hygienically so the patient doesn’t have to touch anything directly.

The service is available to lower-risk patients who had at least two years’ battery life on their pacemakers at their last check. Patients are passed a device, covered in a sterile bag, by staff to hold over their chests to check their pacemakers, and the staff perform the necessary diagnostic checks and ask patients questions relating to it. Providing everything is in order, the patient is then free to leave. Under the new system, up to 25 pacemakers are being checked each day.

The drive-through facility is seen as potentially a permanent fixture and all eligible patients will be seen.

I’m delighted and proud to be able to bring you news of our exciting developments at the Trust and I’m sure there will be more to tell you about in the coming weeks and months as we adapt to the ‘new normal’.

Take care,

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham