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Bridging the gap for cardiology patients

After working to provide best possible palliative care for the district’s cardiology patients, Kelly Hanvey is looking forward to sharing her ideas statewide. 

The NSLHD cardiac supportive care transitional nurse practitioner is attending the forthcoming Palliative Care Biennial Conference in NSW, which aims to shape to future of palliative care across the state and Australia. 

For about the last two years, Kelly has helped bridge the gap between cardiology and palliative care and ensure the district’s patients with advanced chronic cardiac failure and their families receive the best possible support and information.  

“There are heart failure nurses and specialists in NSW, but not many that are linked to palliative care,” she said. 

“The role is an enhancement of the current services for patients with chronic heart failure.

“We’ve learned it can be beneficial for patients with multiple symptoms and life-limiting conditions that supportive and palliative care can improve their quality of life.

“It was recognised that patients in the community needed this extra support. It will be great to tell others (at the conference) how we have introduced this new model of care in the district.”

A cardiac nurse with more than 20 years of experience and based at RNSH, Kelly provides outpatient clinics or home visits to patients and offers advice and information on self-managing their conditions and link with other appropriate services. 

As well as improving quality of life and symptom control for patients, her role includes initiation of advanced care planning and psychosocial support. 

“A big part of the role is giving patients the tools to recognise any deterioration in their conditions,” Kelly said. “It’s also about giving families the information they need to help improve the quality of life for patients. 

“It is a challenging role but very rewarding as you have many moments that reaffirm you are helping people to lead their best life.”

Kelly recently presented information on the service at the Biennial Palliative Care Conference on the NSW Central Coast. The event coverered various issues, including how technology, collaboration, communities, environment and policy will change engagement in end of life care more broadly.

Kelly considers referrals from various sources, including acute care, specialists, GPs, the public and self-referrals. Anyone needing more information should contact Kelly on 0427 312 302 between 8am-4.30pm (Monday-Thursday). 

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