Integrated Care Partnership brings prehab cardiac project to fruition
Patients waiting for heart bypass operations at Derriford Hospital will now have the opportunity to access a specialised prehabilitation programme offering advice and support on lifestyle management to be at their best for surgery and aid recovery.
Funding from the South West Clinical Network has enabled the appointment of a Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse who will deliver group sessions on smoking cessation, diet and exercise programmes. Chloe Hutchinson will sit within the Community Cardiac Team run by Cardiac and Respiratory Teams Manager Kirsty Settle, one of the first patient services to come under the Integrated Care Partnership which began in 2021.
“The incentives for patients to be as fit as possible can significantly improve their outcomes for surgery and their post-surgical recovery,” said Kirsty. “Chloe will focus on delivering this pilot programme to around 50 patients currently on the bypass waiting list, and ensure they are receiving and enacting upon as much information as they can before going for surgery.”
The idea of a prehabilitation pilot project was first suggested at the Cardiac Steering Group – a selection of UHP, Livewell Southwest and primary care colleagues brought together through the Integrated Care Partnership as one of the first patient services to be brought under the ICP umbrella.
“Whilst the ICP as a whole can be complex, as we work through the initial years of the partnership, this prehab project is an exemplar of how bringing the specialist services in the city together provide greater services for our population,” said Integration Manager, Kathryn Taylor. “The group have been able to really strip back and focus on how our joined-up approach from UHP, Livewell and Plymouth City Council will make improvements to the patients in our region. Hence, this prehab project was seen as a quite simple solution, that we hope will have some really positive effects on those waiting for heart bypass surgery and therefore provide greater health outcomes for them.”
From the moment patients are identified by their consultant as appropriate for surgery, they will be immediately available to Chloe, who will invite them into the prehab pilot. Once their surgery is complete, they will continue on to the current cardiac patient pathway and join the rehabilitation programme delivered by the Cardiac Community team.
Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at UHP Mr Adrian Marchbank, said: “I am very excited about the prospect of patients having cardiac surgery being offered this service, which has been shown to be very effective for patients having other types of surgery.
“It is good to see clinical staff in hospitals and the community are working together, as it has been my impression we have common goals but can approach these in different ways, so it is pleasing that we can start to demonstrate shared learning across organisations within the NHS and in social care.”
The Peninsular Cardiac Network has already had an impact in the delivery of cardiac services for patients in the ICP, supporting other key initiatives such as the MyHeart app which is available to patients on the rehabilitation programme.
About the Plymouth’s Integrated Care Partnership
The Integrated Care Partnership is part of a longer journey towards integrated care, which began in 2014 with a vision set out by the Plymouth Health and Wellbeing Board. It also builds on the way partners have come together to respond to the COVID pandemic. For example, the large vaccination centres at Home Park and Derriford Hospital’s Centre for Wellbeing have been jointly run. Staff from UHP, LSW, NHS Devon, Plymouth City Council and the voluntary sector have worked together to engage with people to encourage them to take up the COVID-19 vaccine. This is just one of many examples of closer working. The Partnership will continue to work collaboratively with primary care, the voluntary sector and communities and patients and carers to develop and improve services.