People living with severe heart failure across South Oxfordshire have benefited from a new person-centred course run by Sue Ryder – Nettlebed Hospice. This course is the first of its kind at Sue Ryder and aims to educate people about ways to improve their sense of wellbeing and address difficulties they may be experiencing in their everyday life as a result of having severe heart failure. Relatives, carers and friends were invited to attend and receive more information and insight about the condition too.
Taking place every Tuesday over a period of eight weeks, participants learnt about the importance of nutrition; emotional health; received tips for conserving energy and reducing fatigue and they also had visits from specialist heart failure nurses and occupational therapists. The course was particularly valuable to people who were unable to carry out any physical activity without experiencing discomfort and breathlessness. Everyone was able to enjoy each session with a hot cup of tea or coffee and a slice of homemade cake.
Ron, a participant of the heart failure course whose wife was cared for and died at Nettlebed Hospice, said: “We would like to thank you for all your help and kindness”.
Participant, Wendy, adds: “Sometimes it’s nice to hear we’re not the only ones to be experiencing what we are. Thank you for everything you’ve done for us. We are all so grateful and have really appreciated this. It’s been so lovely and I’m sad it’s coming to an end.”
Liz Flannery, Team Leader and Community Nurse Specialist at Sue Ryder – Nettlebed Hospice, commented: “The main reason we establish this course was to improve access to care and support for people with severe heart failure who have a more uncertain disease. In our experience, this patient group is very underrepresented and the feedback we have received so far has been extremely positive and demonstrates the importance of also offering support to people with non-cancer end of life conditions.
“We are pleased this course has made such a difference to the lives of people suffering from severe heart failure and we are hoping that we will be able to run more courses in the future. Thanks to this highly successful model, we are also planning on introducing other condition specific courses to ensure that everyone with a life-changing condition across South Oxfordshire is given access to the level of care at support that they need and deserve.”
At the final session, Liz reassured participants that Sue Ryder is very much still there to support people through challenging times. Depending on an individual’s symptoms, people be supported at Nettlebed’s Day Hospice, Outpatient Course, in the Inpatient Unit if appropriate or receive care out in the community with support from the 7 day Clinical Nurse Specialist team. Sue Ryder liaises with GP’s, district nurses and heart failures nurses to ensure people continue to supported as best as they can be and also welcome referrals.
If you are interested in finding our more about Sue Ryder – Nettlebed Hospice’s Heart Failure course, please contact your Community Heart Failure Nurse or contact Liz Flannery on 01491 640 725.
For more information about Sue Ryder, please visit www.sueryder.org