This site is intended for health professionals only

GP surgeries with specialist nurses can help save lives

One of the biggest research trials carried out in GP surgeries has confirmed that those with specialist cardiac nurse clinics can help to improve patients' lives.

The University of Leicester research discovered that cardiac nurses were able to benefit patients with angina, heart attacks and heart failure.

Dr Kamlesh Khunti and Dr Iain Squire carried out the research in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Leicester.

Dr Khunti said: "Cardiovascular diseases of which coronary heart disease (people with angina and heart failure) and heart failure are the main cause of morbidity and mortality in most European countries. Studies in general practice, where most of these patients are managed, have reported considerable potential to further increase management of these patients.

"Our research shows that specialist cardiac nurses looking after these patients in GP surgeries can lead to improvements in the secondary prevention and quality of life of patients with coronary heart disease and in management of patients with heart failure."

The Leicester research found that a higher proportion of patients within the nurse clinics had improvements in their blood pressure and cholesterol. More patients in the nurse clinics had appropriate investigations to confirm heart failure compared to the patients who didn't see the nurses.

Dr Kamlesh Khunti, one of the lead researchers on the project said: "This study shows that specialist cardiac nurses working in general practice surgeries can make a significant improvement in management of patients with angina, heart attacks and heart failure."