Skip to main content

Improved Early Access to Heart Failure Care across West Wales

9 November 2022

Hywel Dda University Health Board launches a new innovative patient assessment clinic for patients referred from General Practitioners with suspected Heart Failure.  Heart Failure is a condition caused by weakness of the heart muscle which results in symptoms such as shortness of breath, leg swelling and oedema.

This new ‘One-Stop’ approach will consist of an echocardiogram heart scan, together with a comprehensive patient assessment and consultation with an Advanced Cardiology Pharmacist – this new approach and service is innovative given it will be the first Pharmacist-led heart clinic for the Health Board and will be based at Withybush, Glangwili, Prince Philip and Bronglais hospitals.

This new innovative approach and service will result in significant improvements in Heart Failure care for patients across West Wales, which include earlier assessment, diagnosis and treatment for the condition. Timely treatment for patients living with Heart Failure, can be the difference between a well-managed condition and a hospital admission and is critical in achieving improved self-management of the condition and symptoms.

Elen Jones, Director for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for Wales said “I am delighted to hear about the transformation of cardiology in Hywel Dda and the inclusion of advanced pharmacist skills in making diagnostic decisions and initiating lifesaving medicines. The one stop diagnostic Heart Failure clinic is an excellent example of an innovative service model where pharmacists can take lead roles alongside their medical and nursing colleagues to improve patient outcomes and enhance the patient experience. Pioneering developments like this align perfectly with our vision for pharmacy in Wales and can lead the way in supporting adoption in other Heath Board areas Wales”.

Dr Clive Weston, Lead Cardiologist for Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “My colleagues and I look forward to the establishment of this clinic that will be accessible to patients throughout all three counties served by the Health Board. It augments our existing hospital and community services and makes use of multi-professional expertise for more timely diagnosis and earlier treatment of people with Heart Failure”.

Patient feedback: “I have found being a participant [in this re-design work] a very interesting and enjoyable experience. The process has been handled very professionally and the engagement with the members of the public has been excellent”.

This new innovative approach and service for Heart Failure care has been developed as part of a wider Cardiology Service Transformation Project across Hywel Dda and West Wales and designed and planned with engagement from healthcare professional, patients and voluntary organisations.