Award for Western Isles nurses

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The Western Isles Heart Failure Team has been acknowledged nationally for outstanding care by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

The BHF presented seven prestigious team and individual awards at its recent Healthcare Professional (HCPs) Awards celebration event. The awards recognised BHF funded and supported HCPs across the UK for their outstanding care for heart patients.

Heart Failure Specialist Nurses, Debra Vickers, Jane Macaulay and Margaret Paterson, attended the ceremony in London at the beginning of the month, where they were presented with the ‘Team Award’.

Before Debra Vickers and her team set up their service in 2007 there was no heart failure service and limited cardiac services available to patients and their families in the Western Isles. However, the benefits of the service the team provide are clear – there have been reduced admission rates and high satisfaction rates from patients, carers, GPs and colleagues.

On behalf of the team, Heart Failure Specialist Nurse Debra Vickers commented: “The BHF Nurse Team is delighted to receive this award for Excellence and Innovation in Cardiac Practice. In the three years since the Cardiac Nurse Service has been established we have aimed to provide care and support to patients and families living with heart disease, and have seen admission rates to hospital fall over that time as patients have been helped to stay well and in their own homes.

“We all gain great satisfaction from our roles, and to receive recognition in this way is the icing on the cake. We would like to thank all of those who support our Team, particularly Karen Coles, Admin Assistant to the BHF Nurses; Gemma Mackenzie, BHF Healthcare Support Worker; Dr David Rigby and Dr A Chatterji.”

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson said: “This award is very well deserved and is in recognition of the excellent services provided by Debra and her team. The Heart Failure Service, which is now well established, is a good example of a person centred development that has significantly improved the quality of life for local patients, and is effectively shifting the balance of care from the hospital to the community.”

Catherine Kelly, Programme Lead for Healthcare Professionals at the BHF said: “Our BHF funded Healthcare Professionals make a real difference to heart patients across the UK. The letters we receive from patients tell us time and again that our healthcare professionals offer a vital service not only for them but for their families too.

“These awards are one way of recognising and thanking them for the fantastic work they do and the many lives they touch.”