Omagh Hospital’s Cardiac Assessment Unit Celebrates 10th Anniversary Milestone!

02/10/2019

Omagh Hospital’s Cardiac Assessment Unit Celebrates 10th Anniversary Milestone!

The Western Trust's Cardiac Assessment Unit at Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex is marking its 10th Anniversary milestone this week with a celebration tea party for former and current staff who have been instrumental in the success of this award winning Unit.
 
The Cardiac Assessment Unit is a vital service to the people of Omagh and surrounding areas in treating people with cardiac conditions.  It is a unique specialised unit used to assess and treat patients with life threatening heart conditions.  The unit treats patients with chest pains, palpitations, heart attacks and collapse episodes with around 350-450 patients attending per month. The number of people attending the unit continues to grow year on year with over 5,000 patients treated in the last year!
 
Dr Paul McGlinchey, Consultant Cardiologist for the Western Trust said: “The team of experienced and specially trained cardiac nurses deliver a prompt decision making service to patients presenting with a wide array of cardiac symptoms.  The team of nurses undertake a thorough clinical assessment and formulate a management plan including diagnosis, initiation of appropriate treatment and/or arrange further cardiac investigations either as an outpatient or through direct admission to the cardiology ward based in Altnagelvin Hospital.  The 24 hour / 7 days a week service allows prompt access to a specialist cardiology opinion.  Consultant Cardiologists are heavily involved in the management of patients attending the unit and efficient, effective patient centred care remains paramount at all times delivered by competent and skilled cardiac nurses.”
 
Dr McGlinchey added: “The Cardiac Assessment Unit is an essential part of the overall cardiac services across the Western Trust area. This is a prime example of how our nursing staff ensure excellent health care is provided to our patients at the right time in the right place.  The success of the unit is due to the dedication, commitment and aspirations of all the staff to provide a high standard of care and treatment with a focus on safety and adherence to current guidelines on treating cardiac conditions.  The expansion of the nursing role and expertise of staff enables many patients to return home safely without the need to attend the Emergency Department thereby reducing waiting times and pressures on acute hospitals.”
 
Dr Anne Kilgallen, Western Trust Chief Executive said: “The reconfiguration of the health services within Northern Ireland and the loss of acute services within Omagh from the Tyrone County Hospital propelled the way to develop a sustainable cost effective means of retaining cardiac services for the people of Omagh and surrounding areas.  Donna Keenan former ward manager was instrumental in initiating the change and leading and supporting her team to tailor services to meet the needs of the local community. 
 
Through her vision she inspired staff and instilled confidence to deliver a service that was the first of its kind in Ireland and the UK at the time and overcame the challenges she faced to enable the unit to be the success that it is today.   The unit has saved many lives over the years and received some prestigious awards which is testament to the high standard of care provided by its staff.  It was shortlisted for the British Heart Foundation team of the year award 2018 and came runner up out of the UK. Staff Nurse Flo Harper who worked in the unit until her retirement received an MBE for services to cardiac care within the unit. We are extremely proud of each and every member of the cardiac assessment team both past and present and wish the team every success for the future.”