Specialist nurses Linda Griffiths, Jane Hill and Mark Heyhoe from Manchester Royal Infirmary have been given a national award for their outstanding work with young heart patients in Manchester. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) presented the team with this prestigious award at its Healthcare Professional (HCPS) Awards celebration event.
Linda, Jane and Mark won the Outstanding Achievement Award. They and the rest of their team focus on the needs of young heart patients growing up with congenital heart disease. They work in particular on ensuring the transition from paediatric to adult care is seamless, and hold a cardiac transition workshop for 12 to 18 year olds. They have also developed a dedicated website for young people, a cardiac youth forum that engages in many activities including outdoor pursuits, and a text messaging service.
Andrew Taylor, one of the patients treated by the team, spoke of the invaluable care he has received from Linda, his nurse:
"Linda's dedication to her patients is nothing but remarkable. She set up a texting service for her patients to contact her whenever they have a life issue that conflicts with their conditions such as: sporting activities, leisure activities, alcohol, holiday travel, medication trouble, palpitations and many, many more. Her promptness to respond to our queries is always impeccable and Linda has helped so many of us carry out tasks we were afraid our conditions may not manage or dreams we deemed out of reach. She has given us the confidence to be more independent as we know help, from someone who fully understands our conditions, is just a text away.
"I would personally like to thank her for all the hard work and care she has given me over the many years. I would not have achieved half of the things I have done if it wasn't for her guidance, support and time. Linda has helped us live life how it should be lived, to the full."
The team, when accepting their award said: "We are delighted to receive this award from the BHF. We and many other Healthcare Professionals work tirelessly to make sure heart patients are given the care and support they need.
"We've met many wonderful and inspirational heart patients over the years and seeing the impact our work has on their lives is what makes our job so worthwhile."
Catherine Kelly, Programme Lead for Healthcare Professionals at the BHF said:
"Our BHF funded Healthcare Professionals make a real difference to heart patients across the UK. The letters we receive from patients tell us time and again that our healthcare professionals offer a vital service not only for them but for their families too.
"These awards are one way of recognising and thanking them for the fantastic work they do and the many lives they touch."
The BHF supports over six hundred healthcare professionals across the UK who provide vital care and support to heart patients. The Healthcare Professional Programme has transformed the quality of care available to nearly 800,000 heart patients since 2004.