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Specialist nurses take to the road with heart failure awareness campaign

Specialist nurses take to the road with heart failure awareness campaign
Heart failure specialist nurses Gemma Swinney, left, and Nikola Day, right, with advanced clinical pharmacist Janine Beezer, who are part of the trust's cardiology team

Specialist nurses are heading on tour to raise awareness of the risks and symptoms of heart failure.

Those working at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust will be travelling on a community bus and visiting local areas to talk to the public about heart failure later this month.

They are campaigning as part of Heart Failure Awareness Week, which runs from Monday April 29.

The aim of this year’s campaign is to ‘detect the undetected’ and help people to consider whether they could be affected by the condition which can be diagnosed via a simple GP blood test.

An estimated one million people have heart failure in the UK, with 200,000 new diagnoses every year.

A further 400,000 people have the condition but are undetected and therefore missing out on life-preserving treatments.

The touring team, which is made up of specialist nurses and other members of the trust’s cardiology service, will stress the importance of early intervention in diagnosing and treating those with heart failure, while ensuring the relevant advice and support is offered to those who need it.

Across the trust, members of the cardiology team will be championing the symptom slogan ‘Let’s BEAT Heart Failure’, following the advice of Pumping Marvellous, a leading heart failure charity.

‘BEAT’ stands for ‘Breathlessness, Exhaustion, Ankle swelling and Time for a simple blood test’.

Other symptoms can include a reduced ability to exercise, a fast heart rate and a persistent cough which can all develop quickly or gradually over weeks or months.

Members of the team, who are based at South Tyneside District Hospital, will be joining the Key Community Bus as it visits a series of locations, including pubs and community centres, across the week.

Dr Mickey Jachuck, clinical director for cardiothoracic medicine and clinical microbiology and infection, said: ‘This awareness week gives us the chance to get that conversation started with people and get them thinking about their health and wellbeing. It also gives them the information they need to look out for their loved ones too.’

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