14 June 2016 / 5:37 am
The Jersey Heart Team has recently been selected for the finals of the 2016 British Medical Journal Team of the Year Awards. Although we didn’t win, being selected into the top four cardiology teams in the UK is an amazing achievement for our Island’s heart team and reflects the high level of personalised care that our group of doctors, nurses, physiologists, physiotherapists and administration staff work hard to provide.
As part of the selection process we were asked to make a formal presentation to a panel of judges and then take part in a structured interview process. The panel included leaders in NHS healthcare and cardiology as well as a patient representatives. Some of the questioning included identifying ways that the NHS could incorporate the ideas and services that we are using in Jersey. Feedback from the judges stated that Jersey scored highly and ‘Significantly above normal expectations and an example to others’.
Cardiac services in Jersey have been transformed over the last decade. Thanks to donations from individuals and charities we have privately funded and appointed two doctors, four nurses, two clinical physiologists and a secretary to innovate the way that heart services are provided. Most of these posts have now secured ongoing permanent public funding from the States of Jersey.
The list of changes in our clinical service is extensive and includes establishing high class links with Oxford University Hospitals, new implantable device services using the Jersey’s day surgery unit, a dedicated heart rhythm clinic, rapid access heart failure and chest pain clinics and high quality cardiac rehabilitation for patients after heart attacks and surgery. Our junior doctor apprenticeship programme has been extremely successful at launching the careers of cardiologists-to-be.
One key aspect of our success is strong clinical leadership in a time of public sector austerity. We have also been lucky enough to secure a team of outstanding individuals meaning that we have be able to create the job to suit the person rather than the other way around. We meet regularly, with an open forum for clinical and personal discussion whilst ensuring that we have fun during our working days (and nights). As Branson says, ‘If you look after your staff they will look after the client’, and there is nowhere where that is more important than in healthcare.
Looking forward, we are excited that we finally have a recommendation for a site for our much needed new hospital. We are working with the future hospital team to continue our clinical service developments and plan the structure of the buildings and new staffing requirements. We have already identified ways that additional services can be provided on-Island with the appointment of additional cardiology medical staff, reducing overseas spending whilst enhancing the local service. The next few years should be an exciting time for Jersey’s Heart Team and we look forward to seeing how things develop.