Nurse practitioner Julia Bennett describes a successful health education day held to support NSF CHD recommendations


As part of a strategy to meet the National Service Framework (NSF) recommendations for Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), the two practices within Hassocks Health Centre, West Sussex, recently held a health education morning for all patients with heart disease. Relatives and friends were welcomed too.

The project was very well received and we would like to share our experience with readers. We would also be willing to support other practices wishing to embark on such a venture.

This was a multidisciplinary collaborative project that had been planned for some time. Its title was 'Secondary care management of heart disease and what every patient has a right to expect from health professionals in the pursuit of good patient care'.

This theme was endorsed by our guest speaker GP Dr John Pittard, a member of the External Reference Group for the NSF for CHD, during his excellent presentation at the end of the morning.

Posters advertising the event were placed at key sites in the village such as post offices, library, chemists, and local supermarkets. The event was also advertised in the Mid Sussex Times.

Doctors, nurses and health visitors manned the stalls and boards. At the outset of the project it was agreed that each topic area would be researched and presented by the health professionals responsible for that topic.

For example, the board covering 'Evidence-based medication for heart disease' was written and prepared by the nurse practitioner and community pharmacist using terminology that would be understood by the general public. The community pharmacist also helped to man the board on the day and dealt with patients' questions on their particular medication.

Topic areas covered were:

  • Stop smoking
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Exercise 'fitness not fatness'
  • Healthy diet, preventing obesity
  • What are cholesterol levels?
  • Evidence-based medication
  • Blood pressure.

Additional stands and stalls supported by outside agencies included:

  • Health clubs (with special rates for people joining on the day)
  • Complementary therapies, such as reflexology, aromatherapy
  • Allied Health Care (appliances for the elderly)
  • Brighton Heart Guard, who provided CPR training for the general public and demonstrated the latest equipment that paramedics are trained to use.

Voluntary organisations attending included:

  • The local heart support group – the 'Zipper Club'
  • The local branch of Diabetes UK
  • Carers support group.

More than 200 people attended throughout the morning. Everyone thought the event had been an overwhelming success. And we are still receiving thank you calls and letters.

Julia Bennett, nurse practitioner, Hassocks Health Centre, West Sussex

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Guidelines in Practice, December 2000, Volume 3
© 2000 MGP Ltd
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