New ECG Service for Patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

New ECG Service for Patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) featured image

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Suzanne Holmes, Primary Care Liaison Nurse (IDD) and Sarah Atkinson, ECG Trainer - Bull Farm Primary Care Centre and Highbury Hospital

What have we changed?

A new service is now available for patients under the care of the Trust’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) service who need to have an electrocardiogram (ECG).

NICE guidelines now require an ECG to be undertaken before certain medications can be prescribed, so fast access to an ECG is vital for these patients to avoid a delay in treatment. Clinicians in the IDD service previously requested ECGs to be taken at the patient’s GP, but this has led to lengthy waits for some individuals who struggle to access primary care services due to their behaviours, routines, anxiety, phobias and other risks. ECG home visits via the GP surgery are difficult to arrange due to a lack of equipment and staff training and time pressures around appointments within primary care services.

The new service means that those patients who have been identified as having the additional needs, behaviours, and/or risks, that would benefit from an ECG being carried out at home, can now have this done through the Trust, allowing them to feel safe and supported throughout whilst also reducing wait times for the procedure.

Why this has benefited Service Users and / or staff

To have an ECG in their own home. More time / own environment and feels safe.

March-November 2019

Number of patients seen: 15

Number of ECG’s successfully recorded: 14 (93%)

Number of ECG’s showing Medication induced long QTc interval above the maximum limit allowed: 3 (21%)

Number of ECG’s showing Cardiac changes: 8 (57%) 3 of these showed Ischaemic Heart Disease

The service users that have accessed this service have all had problems in the past with having an ECG recorded through primary care services due to their specialist needs and may not have ever had an ECG successfully recorded. All the service users that have been referred to the service have had a home visit to have an ECG recorded within 4 days of the referral.

Why are you proud of your Fab Change 19?

This has provided timely ECGs thereby reducing treatment time

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