Kettering General Hospital is developing a pioneering new way of supporting patients who have had a heart attack to further aid their recovery.
It has become one of only a few hospitals in the country to develop a specialist Post MI (myocardial infarction) Clinic which supports and monitors patients intensively after their heart attack.
Across the country NHS patients who have a heart attack receive acute care followed by support from a cardiac rehabilitation team and their GP.
They then commonly have to wait several months for routine follow-up clinics with their consultant cardiologist.
KGH’s new specialist service aims to see all post MI patients within 6-8 weeks and deliver and adjust care to the individual concerned to give them the very best chance of a full recovery.
Associate Cardiology Specialist Dr Mohammed El-Din established the Post MI Clinic at KGH in August 2020 and is carrying out on-going research to prove its benefit – research that was recently outline at the European Society of Cardiology’s Preventive Cardiology Conference 2021 held on April 15-17.
He said: “KGH’s consultant cardiologists run the county’s Heart Attack service and our specialist teams do a great job of preventing and treating heart attacks.
“Our cardiac rehabilitation team also do fantastic work supporting patients to become active again and regain their confidence.
“What I want to do with the Cardiac MI Clinic is to demonstrate the value of having an additional specialist clinic to intervene within the first three months of the heart attack.
“This is important because there is increasing evidence that intensive follow-up enables patient care to be optimised.
“For example medication is a major part of aftercare and it needs to be carefully adjusted to the individual to give them the best possible outcome.
“This helps the patient maximise their recovery and reduce the risk of a future heart attack or other heart problems.
“Having the Cardiac MI Clinic enables us to provide a gold standard of care for patients who have had the traumatic experience of having a heart attack.
“It helps us to reassure them that everything that can be done for them is being done.”
The Cardiac MI Clinics are held every week by Dr El-Din and specialist cardiac nurses (Advanced Cardiac Nurse Practitioners (ACNPs) from the cardiac outreach team). There is also input from Consultant Diabetologist Dr Mike Pierides to support patients with diabetes who have had a heart attack.
What the patients say
Retired sales representative Jim Bence, 56, from Mawsley Village, Kettering, collapsed with a heart attack while cooking on January 8.
He said: “I was rushed to KGH as an emergency. I had a stent fitted and that was followed by some cardiac rehabilitation. The care I received was unbelievably good.
“The extra Cardiac MI Clinic appointment came afterwards and it was fantastic.
“My wife Sarah and I had a list of questions we wanted to ask and the clinic gave us that chance. They ran through my blood tests and explained my medication and how it worked. It was very reassuring to know that everything that could be done to support my recovery was being done.”
Peterborough GP Dr Richard Withers has also benefitted from the new service after having a heart attack at his home near Oundle in November.
The 64-year-old has seen the major transformation in cardiac care since his early days as a GP.
He said: “Thirty years ago I would be called to a patient with a heart attack and only be able to administer morphine - and perhaps send them to hospital, where little more could be done.
“Then there was the revolution of clot-busting drugs and more recently the amazingly procedures they can now carry out as soon as you arrive at hospital – opening up the coronary arteries using balloons and metal stents.
“The Cardiac MI Clinic is another new development and a great idea.
“Medication to maximise recovery needs to be carefully administered and built up over time to have the maximum effect. This specialist clinic is taking a detailed look at an individual’s personal circumstances and doing the right things to ensure that everything that can be done is being done, and in the right way.
“I was very impressed with the whole set up and the way the team all worked together. The way cardiac care has advanced really is a modern miracle. “
Early findings of research are encouraging
Research into the effectiveness of the new clinic was carried out at KGH between August 2020 (when it was originally launched) and December 2020.
Dr El-Din and his KGH colleague, Dr Damanpreet Dev, a KGH Cardiology Registrar, together delivered their research findings on the new clinic to the European Society of Cardiology’s Preventive Cardiology Conference 2021 held on April 15-17.
Dr Dev said: “KGH’s Cardiology Team has always encourages innovation. We have been able to carry out research to demonstrate the positive impact the new clinic is having for patients.
“The clinic has enabled us to optimise the medications for best effect, we were able to encourage patients to stick to better lifestyle. There were additional benefits of identifying risk factors which are associated with poor outcomes after myocardial infarction and treating them so that we can reduce mortality. This clinic has provided a training opportunity to improve future quality of care.
“Overall the benefits have been significant and it has been a great piece of multi-disciplinary work with our excellent Advanced Cardiac Nurse Practitioners and our colleagues in diabetes care and our lipidology clinic (where blood fat (lipid) are tested).”
“This clinic shows Kettering hospital is there for the community and working hard to bring world class care right to the heart of Northamptonshire.’’
Establishing the Post MI clinic has been based on NICE and European Society of Cardiology guidelines to achieve optimal secondary prevention and to address all other risk factors for patients with IHD (ischaemic heart disease ).