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Wendy back home 24 hours after heart attack thanks to award winning pathway

December 1, 2022

Within 2 hours of calling 999 with chest pain, Wendy Rees was in a hospital bed having had lifesaving heart surgery.

And just over 24 hours later, the 69-year-old grandmother - who had had a stent fitted following a heart attack - was recovering at home thanks to a new patient pathway at Glenfield and recently recognised with a national award.

“It was remarkable, I couldn’t believe how quickly it all happened and how well I’d been looked after,” Wendy said.

She’s one of more than 100 patients who have been able to be discharged on the new and now award winning STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) Early Discharge Pathway, which empowers heart attack patients with increased support and technology after discharge.

STEMI team and Wendy
STEMI team and Wendy

The scheme has reduced how long people need to stay in hospital following certain types of heart attacks from an average of three days to just over 24 hours.

It’s achieved by enabling patients to monitor their own blood pressure and heart rate at home as well as giving them more support with several follow up video consultations within the first few weeks after discharge.

Wendy explained what happened: “I thought I’d overdone it and pulled a muscle in my chest but I knew something wasn’t right and after googling my symptoms I woke my husband and we called 111. They sent an ambulance, which arrived within seven minutes.”

Wendy was having a heart attack, paramedics arranged to take her straight to Glenfield Hospital shortly after arriving at her Barrow upon Soar home.

“We called the ambulance at about 2 in the morning and by 4.30am I’d had a stent fitted, the extraordinary pain was gone and I was on the ward recovering, I couldn’t believe it,” Wendy explained.

“I went in early on the Sunday and by Monday morning the specialist agreed I could go home. I’m a type one diabetic so there was some discussion about that, my blood sugars were high but I was confident I could manage that.

“I felt listened to - that’s so important and I’ve been able to recover at home with the extra support I’ve needed but without the fuss.”

The cardiology team at the Glenfield Hospital are one of the first in the UK to offer this to patients. Headed up by Dr Bhavik Modi, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, and Celia Bloor, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, they were recently jointly awarded a prestigious Health Service Journal Acute Sector Innovation of the Year Award, together with London's Barts Heart Centre

Dr Bhavik Modi said: “We are delighted to have been able to adapt and implement this novel pathway so quickly for patients in the region. It's great to see this pathway is getting national recognition and highlights how using technology can help improve patient care.

“This award means a lot as it recognises the hard work of the Glenfield Cardiology team. We’ve had very positive feedback from patients who are happier and feel more supported follow a heart attack.”

Wendy added: “There has been lots of follow up, I’ve felt confident I’m being looked after and I’ve been able to get back to things at my own pace. I was active before this happened and six weeks on I’m more or less back to where I was.

“I can’t thank everyone involved in my care enough.”

For more information or interview requests, contact communications@uhl-tr.nhs.uk