Heart attack patients to get ‘direct treatment’ at Scots hospital

An older patient receives medical advice. Picture: iStock/PAAn older patient receives medical advice. Picture: iStock/PA
An older patient receives medical advice. Picture: iStock/PA

A Scottish hospital has introduced a groundbreaking initiative that means patients who have suffered a high risk heart attack are immediately admitted to a specialist ward.

The Golden Jubilee Foundation’s renowned heart and lung team are behind the new model of care that allows direct referral and admission for patients at risk of further heart attack.

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Previously, patients presenting with a NSTEMI (Non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction), were admitted to their local hospital and then subsequently transferred to the Golden Jubilee for treatment, which introduces potential delays for the highest risk patients.

Evidence and international guidelines demonstrate that patients presenting with a high risk NSTEMI should undergo angiography and revascularisation within 24 hours of admission to get the maximum clinical benefit.

To achieve this, the Golden Jubilee has collaborated with referring hospitals and paramedic crews from the Scottish Ambulance Service to develop detailed NSTEMI protocols and re-design chest pain pathways to ensure high risk patients come direct to the Golden Jubilee.

Dr Mitchell Lindsay, lead consultant Cardiologist at the Golden Jubilee, commented: “Since 2008, the Golden Jubilee has directly admitted STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction) patients who need to be treated immediately.

“By implementing this new way of working, the Golden Jubilee has now extended the benefit of direct admission to those patients in the west of Scotland who present with a high risk NSTEMI heart attack.

“Not only are these patients treated faster, maximising the clinical benefit of treatment , their stay in hospital is consequently significantly shorter.”

Jann Gardner, chief executive of the Golden Jubilee, added: “The Golden Jubilee have proven the benefits of direct admission for this group of patients – a process that is translatable to heart attack care across the UK. This service redesign was awarded the inaugural Innovation award this year at the National Cardiothoracic Benchmarking Collaborative in London.

“So far we have treated in excess of 600 patients through our cardiology direct NSTEMI service with approximately £1.1 million saving to NHSScotland.”