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Heart failure nurse is pumping marvellous!

29 January, 2019

Heart failure specialist nurse Alison Walker, who works for City Health Care Partnership CIC, (CHCP CIC) has been given one of five ‘You’re Simply Marvellous’ awards by national charity Pumping Marvellous to recognise her outstanding work.

Alison was nominated for the award by a patient, who wrote to the charity to sing her praises: 

“Alison is just utterly, superbly marvellous and I’d have been lost without her. She was such an enormous support to myself and my whole family post diagnosis.  She was always at the end of a phone when I needed support, she brought me videos of the procedure when I was waiting for my coronary artery bypass graft procedure, not to terrify me but because she knew me well enough that she knew I would feel better having seen what was going to happen to me!

“Alison wasn’t only here for me, she supported my husband and my mum through an incredibly tough time – she even helped my husband put up a bannister for me when I was struggling to climb the stairs! Talk about above and beyond! Most of all, I’m thankful to her because she told me straight when I asked questions without being patronising or hiding the severity of my condition from me. I always felt like she had my back and she was the reason I didn’t end up rocking in a corner somewhere. She really deserves this aware because she’s marvellous at her job, a lovely person and is passionate about patients living well with heart failure.”

Alison was touched and delighted to receive this award. She explained a bit more about what heart failure nurses do and why their job is so important: “Patients from Hull and the East Riding are referred to our service after they’ve had a new diagnosis of heart failure. They often feel really anxious and sometimes find out they need further interventions such as a pacemaker or cardiac defibrillator, or sometimes cardiac surgery. It’s a lot to come to terms with – it’s a chronic lifelong condition. We educate patients to understand their condition and to be able to monitor their own symptoms.

“Treatment can include lifestyle changes like stopping smoking, taking more exercise (if it’s suitable for their condition) and eating more healthily. A lot of what we do is helping patients to recognise if their symptoms are deteriorating and to manage their medications.

“Patients can be with the service for a long time, often over a year, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see them go from fear and anxiety to becoming confident and independent, even those who think they’ll never improve.”

The Marvellous Awards are awarded by the patient community of the Pumping Marvellous Foundation, the UK’s heart failure charity. The individual award recognises that someone consistently surpasses what’s expected of them as a healthcare professional and that they truly understand the patient.

Andrew Burnell, chief executive of CHCP, said, “It’s fantastic to see one of our committed, compassionate colleagues be recognised in this way, and especially because the nomination came from a patient. We’re proud to have people like Alison in our organisation.”