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Heart Failure Nursing Service

Working to improve the holistic care of patients with heart failure.

Contact us

Speak to one of the teams close to you:

Ashford / Thanet / South Kent Coast / Canterbury  
0300 123 1412
kentchft.ekspecialistadmin@nhs.net

Maidstone and Weald, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells
0300 790 6859
kcht.LRUwestkent@nhs.net

Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm.

We do not deliver this service in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley. It is provided by The HCRG Care Group.

Who we are

The Heart Failure Service (also known as the Cardiac Nursing Service) provides care and support to patients living with certain types of heart failure.

What we do

We follow national guidance in the treatment and management of our patients. We work to improve the wellbeing of patients with heart failure, supporting primary care in effectively managing patients diagnosed with heart failure, to improve quality of life, reduce hospital admissions and to improve access to palliative and end of life care, when necessary. Our heart failure specialist nurse works in partnership with GPs, community district nurses, case managers, other specialist nurses and consultants providing clinical advice and support in the community. We support patient management, with a large focus on self-management, and then transfer care back to the GP once the patient is stable.

Our service is available in both east and west Kent offering a mix of telephone, video consultation or face-to-face appointments. Face-to-face appointments may be in a clinic or at the patient’s home, if housebound.

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a condition where the heart is not able to pump the blood around the body properly. It is a long term condition that can lead to a variety of symptoms including breathlessness, fatigue and fluid retention in the feet, ankles, abdomen or lungs.

There are different types of heart failure and the management of them is different. Some types will be managed by our service while others will be managed by the patient’s doctor.

How do you use this service?

You need to be referred by a GP or healthcare professional to use this service.

Emergencies

Acute chest pain – if you develop sudden chest pain, call 999 immediately especially if the pain:

  • spreads to your arms, back, neck or jaw
  • makes your chest feel tight or heavy
  • also started with shortness of breath, sweating and feeling or being sick
  • lasts more than 15 minutes.

Acute breathlessness – if you develop sudden breathlessness and struggling to breathe, call 999 immediately.

Cardiac arrest – sometimes the heart changes into an abnormal rhythm that stops it pumping blood around the body. People will become unresponsive and stop breathing. Without emergency help, the person will die. Phone 999 for help and immediately start CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

What can I do to help my heart failure?

Monitoring:

  • Monitor your weight daily, if possible. This should be measured first thing in the morning after going to the toilet and before breakfast. Please keep a record of your weight.  If your weight increases by 2kg or 4-5lb in 2-3 days, contact your health care professional for advice.
  • You may wish to buy a home blood pressure monitor. Keep a daily record of your blood pressure and heart rate. This will help your health professional manage your condition.
  • Check your abdomen, legs, ankles and feet daily for swelling.
  • Escalate any new symptoms of shortness of breath, swelling, palpitations or chest pain appropriately.
  • Managing your fluid intake is an important part of managing your condition. Your healthcare professional will advise you how much you should be drinking each day.

Lifestyle modification:

  • Stop smoking, maintain a healthy balanced diet. Be mindful of salt and alcohol intake.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Be active.
  • Reduce stress. Look after your mental health and wellbeing.

Consider getting vaccinations:

  • Ask your GP about the flu, Covid and pneumonia vaccines.

Medications:

  • Do not stop taking any medications without consulting your healthcare professional
  • Ensure your repeat prescriptions are collected in a timely manner so you do not run out.

Helpful information from other websites

Your comments

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February 2024
Paddock Wood

It was timely, efficient, thorough and friendly. Gave me confidence and a realistic appreciation of my experience of heart failure and future lifestyle choices.

January 2024
Thanet

Fantastic service. They always give more than needed information, good understandable language. Questions always answered. Any problems answered and doctors informed and kept up to date. Amazing overall. Always turns up and very reliable.

May 2023
Paddock Wood

Friendly, professional, explanatory, helpful and caring.

May 2023
Ashford

The care was 100%. I received regular reviews at the clinic and calls too. Positive med changes all in all super service. Top guy.

May 2023
Dover

Kirsty is extremely helpful, friendly and informative. Kirsty explained everything to me in great detail explained.

May 2023
Herne Bay

Always very friendly and feel very comfortable around Sue and all the nurses and in the clinic.

May 2023
Dover

She is just brilliant; she is a star. Her approached to me is brilliant. She treats me well. Its a treat to have her looking after me. Very good indeed. So thorough. Goes over and beyond. Nothing is too much trouble.

April 2023
Deal

Kate is so aware and thoughtful, she follows things through. She is very understanding, so caring. We are so pleased to have this service.

April 2023
Ashford

She has explained everything very clearly. All has been put in place. She is a very nice and kind person. I have been under this service in the past and I have already been so very well looked after. Thank you.

April 2023
Thanet

Pleasant, helpful and professional staff.

April 2023
Paddock Wood

On time, very helpful and informative. Took time to answer all questions.

March 2023
Canterbury

Francesca is very straight forward and explained things clearly, nice and easy, personally happy.

March 2023
Deal

I have no complaints. She keeps in touch with me. If I need anything I call the team and my call is return promptly. I trust her. I find it very good indeed.

March 2023
Paddock Wood

Staff absolutely excellent in advice, treatment and care, making it comforting that professionals are affording a great service.

March 2023
Thanet

Very kind, polite. She made me understand everything that I needed to understand. Very good advise and very detailed. So far so good.

January 2023
Paddock Wood

The nurse was thorough and knowledgeable and caring.

January 2023
Thanet

Carla is very good at her job. She listens and does what she says she will.

January 2023
Shepway

The caring is always there when needed plus respect. I couldn't ask for better care.

December 2022
Thanet

Carla covers all aspects of my condition and give me a thorough check up when we meet.

December 2022
Faversham

Jacqui is kind and friendly and very efficient at carrying out her job. Jacqui listens to me and explains everything in a way I can understand through every step of the way.

December 2022
Canterbury

Thorough, professional, informative, helpful, reassuring, caring and listened to patient and carer.

December 2022
Paddock Wood

Very informative on my condition which puts me at ease and the medical check up every time I go to the clinic.

June 2022
Paddock Wood

We left feeling supported after a scary diagnosis. Everything was well explained. Karen was informative and knowledgeable. Thank you.

June 2022
Ashford

Cecelia was helpful and has everything in hand.

June 2022
Canterbury

All in the team are brilliant if Jacqueline isn't in. I am very impressed with the whole team.

May 2022
Paddock Wood

Nurse Erna is always really kind and explains things very well. She encourages me to be better.

May 2022
Dover

Always felt that I was being so well looked after.

May 2022
Paddock Wood

The nurse understood my problems and concerns; answering all my questions.

April 2022
Ashford

Candy was good and pleasant. She is very respectful and aware of my condition.

April 2022
Faversham

Jacqui is polite, explains everything in detail and any questions will answer for me or get back to me if she cannot answer at the time.

April 2022
Thanet

The service is perfect, there is nothing I would change.

April 2022
Paddock Wood

The nurse put me at ease and showed she really cared.

March 2022
Deal

Ann is very thorough, attentive and friendly.

March 2022
Thanet

Carla's communication style is very clear. Carla is kind and supportive. Carla always listens to me and contributes to the conversation, she does not talk at me.

March 2022
Ashford

Jon he has done his job, kept me informed and seen me, cannot fault him.

March 2022
Paddock Wood

I felt comfortable, everything was explained very well, my questions were answered.

February 2022
Canterbury

Sue is very professional, very sympathetic and very knowledgeable.

February 2022
Paddock Wood

The nurse was excellent and everything explained fully.

January 2022
Canterbury

Jacqueline and the whole team were professional, attentive and informative.

January 2022
Paddock Wood

Nurse Rachel was wonderful, kind, unhurried and willing to answer all the random questions I have been worried about. Very efficient and reassuring.

January 2022
Thanet

The service has been very professional throughout and caring.

November 2022
Canterbury

I have met with this lovely young nurse a couple of times and also had quite a few phone calls. She is very nice and I am so happy to have her in my life. I feel very well looked after. Thank you.

November 2022
Dover

Friendly, approachable nurse who explained the problems at a level I could understand, answering any questions that I asked.

September 2022
Paddock Wood

The nurse was very pleasant, friendly, knowledgeable, efficient and effective. All my questions were answered fully and understandably.

October 2022
Paddock Wood

Karen was polite, courteous and explained her reasons for proposing change of medication.

September 2022
Paddock Wood

Katie was very informative and made us feel relaxed. She was kind and considerate.

August 2022
Ashford

Jon is always on the ball. Jon sorted my meds out and he always gets back to me when he says he will. Jon is an all round caring person.

August 2022
Paddock Wood

Nurse Erna is always very kind and explains things very well. She encourages me to be better.

July 2022
Faversham

Jacqueline is excellent, she is caring nurse and full of helpfulness. This department is marvellous and Jacqueline is very informative.

July 2022
Shepway

Appointment on time. very clear explanation and over all a first class service. Very happy with Carla.

July 2022
Canterbury

She answered all my question. Everyone has been extremely helpful. My new meds that I received whilst in hospital have been fully explained to me. Fantastic service overall.

July 2022
Paddock Wood

Karen is just brilliant; so knowledgeable & helpful. 10/10.

July 2022
Thanet

Top nurse and very respectable. She is super, I have nothing but high regard for her. Excellent service that I get from Mel. If I won the lottery I would treat you all. Such a brilliant service.

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