The North West Hospital and Health Service's Clinical Team and The Townsville Hospital Cardiac Team will begin offering outreach cardiac clinics in the North West from mid-2020 with a lead in transition having begun in January 2020.
North West Hospital and Health Service (NWHHS) Acting Chief Executive, Dr Karen Murphy, said the networked cardiac services program, Cardiac Outreach Service (COS) is funded by the State Government.
Dr Murphy said the COS will replace the Indigenous Cardiac Outreach Program (ICOP) an outreach service based at The Prince Charles Hospital, which has been running state-wide for the past 15 years.
"The consistent service provided by ICOP has been highly valued and appreciated in our communities and we are working with ICOP to ensure a smooth transition for our patients," Dr Murphy said.
"The COS will provide an improved, flexible and appropriate service to all our cardiac patients. Our NWHHS clinical team will join with The Townsville Hospital Cardiac Team to provide a comprehensive range of coordinated, cardiac services to our north west communities. This combined Cardiac Outreach Service will work closely with Gidgee Healing and other care providers in Mount Isa and all our remote communities."
Dr Murphy said the services will be more coordinated by one local healthcare team, and the new service will reduce duplication. The cardiologist visits will continue regularly, and Townsville Hospital and Health Service has recruited a cardiologist.
"All services will continue: cardiac surgery, interventional cardiology such as angiograms and cardio electrophysiology such as for pacemakers, local cardiac testing, heart failure and Rheumatic Heart Disease care and patient coordination. The COS will be a one stop shop for patients across the north west.
"The local NWHHS/THHS COS team will include nurses, pharmacist, medical officers, cardiac scientist, health workers and cardiologists to provide continuity of care.
"If there are any cardiac emergencies, patients will be sent straight to The Townsville Hospital rather than being routed through Mount Isa to a tertiary hospital as happened previously with ICOP," Dr Murphy said.
Starting in January, North West HHS Cardiac Nurse and Clinical Lead for the cardiac transition project, Godfrey Martis, and the THHS Clinical Lead, Warren Cleall have been visiting the remote facilities to help with the transition and explain more about the COS to patients.
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