12-year-old Elliot Paget has been in and out of hospital since he was born in 2009.
After numerous cardiac operations and procedures, and living with Shone’s Complex – a rare congenital cardiac condition - he and his family are more than used to hospital waiting rooms.
But thanks to a recent Heart Link donation, they won’t need to make the 80-mile round trip to and from the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre, now based at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, as often as they have previously.
That’s because Elliot is one of more than 80 children with a pacemaker who can now be remotely monitored.
Heart Link, a charity set up and run by parents of children with cardiac conditions, donated the £18,000 needed to buy the technology, after being approached by EMCHC.
Trustee Graeme Williams said: “Making the donation was a no-brainer for us. As parents who have first-hand experience of what it’s like to be to and from the hospital, we knew what a difference the monitors could make.”
The technology allows patients with specific types of pacemaker to plug in a monitor at home which transmits results to the hospital.
The monitors are also able to alert clinical staff to any discrepancies or changes for immediate review if required.
Elliot’s mum - Sue, explained: “It’s more than just not needing to go to hospital as often anymore, it’s the peace of mind that the monitor will alert Elliot’s doctors if there is something wrong, it’s almost an extra pair of eyes.
“It means less disruption for him, for his education and for the rest of the family too.
“He can be here at home carrying on as normal and if there’s something that is concerning us, we can call and let the hospital know we’re worried and they can call us in if they need to.
“As he gets older it will help with his independence as well.”
Consultant cardiologist Haris Kotidis said: “Remote monitoring allows us to provide a better patient experience, it also gives us the opportunity to keep a close eye on results and spot early warning signs.
“The technology is already making a real difference to the way we look after our patients.”
Results will be read by EMCHC’s team of clinicians, including cardiac physiologists.
Chief cardiac physiologist, Samantha Elliott, explained: “This is all about improving things for patients. A lot of our patients travel from further afield for their care so this will really benefit them.
“The technology allows us to review patients remotely which for most children means they don’t need to come into hospital as regularly as they did before.
“It’s something we’ve wanted to offer our patients for a while, thanks to Heart Link, we now can.”