SWAH to get extra funds for innovative heart programme


Dr Susan Connolly who is based at South West Acute Hospital

ASSURANCES have been given that Enniskillen’s South West Acute Hospital will get its fair share of funding for a new preventative cardiology programme according to Dr Susan Connolly, Consultant Cardiologist based at SWAH.
“You can be sure that the people in Fermanagh will get as much of this service as they need. The activity is roughly divided between Fermanagh, Derry and Omagh,” she said”
The programme developed by Dr Connolly in London has already been launched both in London and Galway. The positive outcome of the nurse-led initiative was she believes a key factor in successfully attracting transformation funding here. 
“We put in a bid in March and the Department of Health awarded us the money in June. This was formalised through the board in Belfast and we received confirmation of the funding last week. 
“It’s half a million for this financial year, bearing in mind there is only 6 months left until the end of March. The programme budget is £1million and we would anticipate that we will receive £1million for 2019-20.” 
The programme will also bring about a recruitment drive for various positions to enable the delivery of the programme. “We are recruiting 20 staff members; nurses, cardiovascular nurses, dieticians, physical activity specialists, physiotherapists, psychologists and admin support. We would hope to have them in post in the next 2/3 months and launch the programme then.”  
The programme will be open to those who have suffered a heart attack or those at risk of heart, disease, heart attack or stroke. 
The initial stage of the programme will involve a two and a half hour clinical consultation where the patient along with their partner will be assessed by a nurse, dietician and physiotherapist to determine their unique circumstances allowing a tailored action plan to be developed. 
 “One of the successes of this programme is that it engenders lifestyle change. It is personalised, preventative, community based and promotes good health. It’s not just about making the numbers better, patients have to actually feel benefit from the programme too.” 


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