Kettering General Hospital (KGH) Foundation Trust has become one of only a few hospitals in the country to develop a specialist Post MI (myocardial infarction) Clinic, which supports and monitors patients intensively after a heart attack.
Across the country NHS patients who have had a heart attack usually receive acute care, followed by support from a cardiac rehabilitation team and their GP.
They then commonly have to wait several months for routine follow-up clinics with their consultant cardiologist.
KGH’s new specialist service aims to see all post MI patients within 6-8 weeks and deliver and adjust care to the individual concerned, giving them the best chance of a full recovery.
Associate Cardiology Specialist Dr Mohammed El-Din, established the Post MI Clinic at KGH in August 2020 and is carrying out on-going research to prove its benefit.
Dr El-Din said: “KGH’s consultant cardiologists run the county’s heart attack service and our specialist teams do a great job of preventing and treating heart attacks.
“What I want to do with the Cardiac MI Clinic is to demonstrate the value of having an additional specialist clinic to intervene within the first three months of the heart attack.
“This is important because there is increasing evidence that intensive follow-up enables patient care to be optimised.
“This helps the patient maximise their recovery and reduce the risk of a future heart attack or other heart problems.”
The Cardiac MI Clinics are held every week by Dr El-Din and specialist cardiac nurses (Advanced Cardiac Nurse Practitioners (ACNPs) from the cardiac outreach team). There is also input from Consultant Diabetologist Dr Mike Pierides to support patients with diabetes who have had a heart attack.
Peterborough GP Dr Richard Withers benefitted from the new service after having a heart attack at his home near Oundle in November.
The 64-year-old has seen a major transformation in cardiac care since his early days as a GP.
He said: “Thirty years ago I would be called to a patient with a heart attack and only be able to administer morphine - and perhaps send them to hospital, where little more could be done.
“Then there was the revolution of clot-busting drugs and more recently the amazing procedures they can now carry out as soon as you arrive at hospital (opening up the coronary arteries using balloons and metal stents).
“Medication to maximise recovery needs to be carefully administered and built up over time to have the maximum effect. This specialist clinic is taking a detailed look at an individual’s personal circumstances and doing the right things to ensure that everything that can be done is being done, and in the right way.”
Research into the effectiveness of the new clinic was carried out at KGH between August 2020 (when it was originally launched) and December 2020.
Dr El-Din and his KGH colleague, Dr Damanpreet Dev - a KGH Cardiology Registrar - delivered their research findings on the new clinic to the European Society of Cardiology’s Preventive Cardiology Conference on April 15-17 2021.
Dr Dev said: “KGH’s cardiology team has always encouraged innovation. We have been able to carry out research to demonstrate the positive impact the new clinic is having for patients.
“The clinic has enabled us to optimise the medications for best effect. We were able to encourage patients to stick to a better lifestyle. There were additional benefits of identifying risk factors which are associated with poor outcomes after myocardial infarction, and treating them so that we can reduce mortality. This clinic has provided a training opportunity to improve future quality of care.
Establishing the Post MI clinic is based on the NICE and European Society of Cardiology guidelines to achieve optimal secondary prevention, and to address all other risk factors for patients with IHD (ischaemic heart disease).