All children with cardiac conditions can be allocated a specialist nurse to help them with the many practicalities of caring for a child with a heart condition. The intervention may be very brief as when a child has a diagnosis of an ‘innocent’ heart murmur needing treatment or the relationship may be a complex and long term one.
The children’s cardiac care team consists of clinical nurse specialists (CNS) in fetal cardiac care, children’s cardiac care, electrophysiology and transition care. Each nurse is highly trained and experienced in caring for children with cardiac disease.
Lead nurse – fetal, paediatric and transition cardiac care
• Virginia Castro Meira
The specialist nursing team works with children and their families giving expert advice and support from the time of diagnosis through to discharge from the cardiac service or transition to adult services.
The team’s services extend beyond the hospital, into the local community, providing home and school visits when necessary. They liaise with health visitors, school nurses and children’s community nurses to coordinate care to ensure children and their families are supported. Alongside the paediatric cardiologist, the team attends cardiology clinics in our network hospitals to ensure that children referred to these clinics have access to expert advice and information. They also act as an expert resource for healthcare professionals in local hospitals and primary care trusts. The team issues school care plans for children with complex needs.
Mabel is the nurse specialist in the care of children with Kawasaki disease, providing support for children and families in clinic, by telephone, and by issuing emergency care plans and school care plans. Mabel oversees the anticoagulation management for this group of patients.
Liz Johnson is the link nurse within the team for overseeing anticoagulation management and training patients and parents in the use of the home testing coagulation machine.
The clinical nurse specialists hold nurse led clinics to see patients at specific points in their care pathway, for example at diagnosis and post-operatively.
Clinical nurse specialists – cardiac care
• Fran Cox
• Rosanna Meryon
• Liz Johnson
• Francesca Damant
• Mabel Adeyefa – specialist in Kawasaki disease
• Gemma Lewington – sister
Children’s cardiac care contact details:
Telephone: 020 73497727