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25/09/2021

First patients attend new Heart Failure Support Unit at Nenagh Hospital

First patients attend new Heart Failure Support Unit at Nenagh Hospital

At the opening of the new Heart Failure Support Unit at Nenagh Hospital were patient Timothy Ryan, Dr Syed Abbas, Jacinta Glasgow, Agnes Carroll and Kathryn O’Brien | PICTURES: Brian Arthur

STAFF at Nenagh Hospital have welcomed the first patients through its new Heart Failure Support Unit after it was officially opened by the UL Hospitals Group.

Among the first patients was local resident Timothy Ryan, who formally cut the ribbon at the refurbished facility. Timothy was one of the very first people to avail of the service when it first opened in the hospital back in 2012.

Since then, the team behind the service has been providing specialist care and a chronic disease management programme to people with a diagnosis of heart failure.

A large number of people from East County Limerick have attended the unit over the years.

Thanks to significant financial support from the Friends of Nenagh Hospital and the HSE, the service now has a designated space in the outpatients department following a refurbishment and equipping project.

There are over 90,000 people in Ireland who suffer from heart failure. Heart failure accounts for more than 7% of all hospital admissions; affects about 20% of those over 80 years of age and causes very debilitating symptoms, such as breathlessness, fatigue and fluid retention. 

The Heart Failure Support Unit in Nenagh Hospital currently sees approximately 230 patients from North Tipperary, East Limerick and East Clare.

The service is led by Consultant Cardiologist Dr Syed F Abbas, and two specialist heart failure nurses, Jacinta Glasgow and Kathryn O’Brien.

“It is very important to retain and develop cardiology services locally in Nenagh and while we have been developing the service since its setup in 2012, we did not have a permanent base from where to operate. Our clinic location until now had moved from day-to-day, and week-to-week, reducing efficient use of resources and impacting the growth of the service. In addition elderly frail patients with multiple health issues, or limited mobility and those with worsening heart failure symptoms often need unscheduled visits which we can now better accommodate with the new space,” said Ms Glasgow. 

“Our new designated space has two consulting rooms, a reception area, an office, a bathroom and is all fully wheelchair accessible. The team are delighted to be welcoming our first patients through our new unit this week. It provides patients with greater comfort, a more pleasant and safer environment, and additional physical space, which is more important in the current climate. From a staffing perspective it will allow us to be more efficient and to continue to develop the service all under one roof,” she added.

Commenting on the opening of the new unit, Cathrina Ryan, Operational Director of Nursing at Nenagh Hospital, said: “We are very grateful to the Friends of Nenagh Hospital for their continued support in developing services and improving patient experience in Nenagh. We are also grateful for the support of the HSE nationally and this is a vote of confidence in the service and the dedicated staff providing it.”

Dr Abbas, consultant cardiologist, said: “I am very grateful to my dedicated team, all those in clinical and management roles, in addition to the Friends of Nenagh Hospital who supported this project. This designated space will allow us to provide an invaluable service for people with heart failure in North Tipperary and surrounding areas into the future in line with National and International evidenced based standards. I am looking forward to developing and expanding this service with my specialist team working towards integrated patient care pathways.”

Aside from the dedicated Heart Failure Support Clinic, a range of cardiology services are provided in Nenagh.

These include cardiology outpatient clinics, cardiology diagnostic services and cardiac rehabilitation services. Cardiology outpatient clinics are held weekly by Dr Abbas and his team.

A range of cardiac diagnostic investigations are conducted including, exercise stress tests, echocardiograms, 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and 24-48 hour holter monitor testing.

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