A TEAM of 20 heart failure specialists from University Hospitals Southampton have been highly commended for their work in the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Alliance Awards at the annual British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) conference in Manchester.

The award, presented by chief executive of the BHF, Simon Gillespie, recognised the team for demonstrating bravery, compassion and drive in their day-to-day work.

He said: “This diverse team has built on previous success and continued to improve the heart failure care service at University Hospitals Southampton.Their sustained hard work and dedication ensures that patients receive the best possible care.

“Each member of this extraordinary team plays a vital role, and their innovation and commitment means enhancing patient care also results in improved efficiency in the NHS.”

For the last seven years, the team including consultant cardiologists and heart failure nurses have worked together to provide an integrated, individual service for heart failure patients across Southampton and West Hampshire.

After just one year patients looked after by the team had demonstrated improved outcomes in terms of death rates and hospital re-admissions. The team also developed an advanced programme for severe heart failure patients and their carers which include chair-based exercise, education, support and advanced care planning. The consultants also created emergency clinics for complex patients who need rapid medical help.

Team member Jayne Masters a member of the team, said: “We are honoured to receive this acknowledgement from the BHF. We are a strong, proactive team committed to working together to improve heart failure patient care – especially towards the end of life.“ We are constantly striving to innovate and drive services forward and we pride ourselves in listening and acting on feedback from the patients – the people who are at the heart of what we do.”

The team are constantly looking for new ways to improve their service and make sure heart failure nurses are supported on a local and national level.

The BHF Alliance awards are judged in two separate stages by a panel of cardiology and healthcare experts who rate nominations on several categories, including how teams and individuals have gone above and beyond the basic requirements of their role.

The BHF Alliance is a free membership scheme which provides learning and development opportunities for healthcare professionals who work with people affected by, or at risk of, cardiovascular disease. For more information visit bhf.org.uk/alliance