The service has been set up by the Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire Cardiac Clinical Network, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, FCMS, a community healthcare provider and Docobo, a specialist in remote patient monitoring.
The service involves giving patients equipment to monitor their blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and heart rate at home, along with a tablet to input the results. The results go straight to the team at FCMS to review, giving patients additional peace of mind that any deterioration in their condition will be picked up.
John, aged 59, from Hyde has been on the waiting list for a coronary artery bypass graft procedure since September 2022 and is now being monitored at home.
John said “I did feel alone after being put on the waiting list and my mental health suffered. I was worried that something might happen to me. I wouldn’t have known who to speak to or what to do.
“I then got a letter about this new service. I was visited at home by a Healthcare Assistant who went through all the equipment with me. When we checked my blood pressure it was high, and I was grateful she was there to ring my GP practice and help to get me an appointment.
“I now check my blood pressure, oxygen levels and heart rate twice a week and input the results. A couple of times they’ve called me within 10 minutes of me submitting my results. I’ve had some issues with high blood pressure, but this is now under control.
“It’s very reassuring to know there is someone at the end of phone if I need them and they will call me if they aren’t happy with my results. It’s taken some of my worries away. My aim is to have my surgery and to recover in time to celebrate my 60th birthday later this year.”
Natalie Marsden from FCMS said “We are currently supporting 60 patients in Greater Manchester who are awaiting specialist cardiac surgery and have successfully discharged 4 people. We continue to reach out to eligible patients to offer our support.
“It is great to hear from John about the support he’s been given and that we have been able to take some of his worries away. We are designed to be a ‘safety net’ service which takes a proactive approach to patient care. If we pick up any issues we can speak directly to the patient and then their GP practice or hospital team on their behalf.”
Dr Amir Sepehripour, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon said “I’m delighted with the progress of this new service and how patients like John now have access to additional support. Having a direct link with patients awaiting specialist procedures is extremely valuable as it allows us to identify any problems early. Our aim is to support people as much as possible whilst we work through the waiting lists.”
Rob Halhead from Docobo said “The feedback illustrates the value of this programme for people waiting for surgery. The waiting lists may be longer than anyone would wish in this ‘post-pandemic period’ but in this way, patients can be kept safe while they wait and be reassured by the contact they have with the excellent clinicians looking over them. We are so delighted to work with this fantastic team.”
Patients will either receive a letter or be given the option to opt into the service at their consultation with the cardiac team. Should they choose to take part, the team at FCMS will contact the patient to arrange to visit them with the equipment.