|St Peter’s leads the way with congenital heart clinic|
|Written by Communications Team|
A special and unusual service for young adults with a congenital heart condition is being offered at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey. Every three months, a group of three consultants run a joint clinic for cardiac patients who are transitioning from adolescence into adulthood.
The team is made up of Consultant Cardiologist, Dr David Fluck, Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Alison Groves and Professor of Adult Congenital Heart Disease at The Royal Brompton Hospital, Professor Gatzoulis. They each specialise in different areas of heart medicine and by running a joint clinic, are able to offer a more comprehensive service to their young patients.
From left to right: Dr David Fluck, Dr Alison Groves, Professor Gatzoulis.
Explains Dr Fluck: “Congenital heart disease is an abnormality in the heart that develops in the womb and is present at birth. It affects around 1% of children, so is more common than people think, and a life long illness. Many of our patients will have been seen at The Royal Brompton as children, as it is a specialist centre for children’s heart surgery. They will often have been under the care of Professor Gatzoulis and his team but attended local follow-up appointments at St Peter’s with Dr Groves.”
“Fortunately an increasing number of children, often with very serious congenital heart problems, are surviving into adulthood, but this can mean that new problems related to their condition start to surface. As an adult cardiologist this is where my input is useful and being able to work so closely with my specialist colleagues, who know the history of the patient, is invaluable.” Adds Professor Gatzoulis: “Our patients really benefit from this joined-up approach as they receive continuity of care – seeing consultants they have been familiar with throughout their childhood whilst at the same time accessing the necessary input of an adult cardiologist. Whilst having three consultants in the room is a high level of resource, it actually enables us to work very efficiently and make quicker decisions. I really think it is great we are able to offer this clinic and it’s an exemplary model.”
A big benefit to the patient is being able to receive such specialist care locally, so they don’t need to travel into London for all their appointments. Dr Groves explains: “There is a big push in the NHS to provide specialist services closer to home and this is exactly what we are offering. It is also an opportunity for us, as consultants, to learn from each other. Professor Gatzoulis is a world leader in his field and it is a privilege to be able to work closely with him and Dr Fluck so regularly.”
|Last Updated on Monday, 28 May 2012 09:39|