"Limited learning at heart failure course"

About: Adult community services / Heart failure support services

(as the patient),

Delay of 25 minutes starting, with no explanation given why we were kept waiting. Badly planned day - no planned comfort breaks, and lunch break in the room while discussions continued. Course leader left the room whilst others delivered presentations - led to certain repetitions. Course not tailored to individual needs (only 5 in group).

Having 27 years of living with heart failure, I found information same as previously received at better training events. Little was learned. Pharmacist session good. Room was small, stuffy and we only left it for toilet break.

Pre and post heart operation courses attended at Sheffield were far superior.

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Response from Grace Oldfield, Patient Involvement Manager, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

Dear three valves, thank you for taking the time and trouble to post your comments on the Patient Opinion website. We are very proud of HELP (Heart failure Education and Learning Programme) in Rotherham however we value your feedback and we're most concerned to learn that your experience of our course did not live up to your expectations.

We apologise for the late start of the day and understand the Course Leader explained to everyone present that this was due to some difficulties with the projector.

The aim of HELP is to provide an improved understanding of heart failure, a knowledge of how to self monitor and identify symptoms which are pertinent to all patients with a diagnosis of heart failure. Specific individual needs are met during discussions sometimes outside of the talks, and we do offer an opportunity for those attending the course to discuss specific concerns with us on an individual basis.

The pilot courses evaluated really well but they all commented that they preferred a small group where they would feel more comfortable to talk about experiences or ask questions. Therefore each HELP is for a maximum of 8 – 10 people which then allows for any last minute cancellations due to ill health for example.

It is unfortunate that there is no dining room within the building and as a result of your comments about the room, future courses will be held in the largest meeting room available. Conversations have been had regarding moving the venue to another building with dining facilities; however this may pose a problem for those who have to take the bus. As a result a poll will be conducted during the next few courses.

Formal comfort breaks have now been incorporated at specific times into the timetable; however we do offer a break after every talk, to accommodate individual need.

Your comment about the pharmacy session is appreciated and this will be passed on to the speaker. The course leader is aware of the content of each session and we are aware that there is repetition during the day; however we believe that it is vital to reinforce important information about self monitoring and recognising early warning signs of fluid retention which can lead to early effective treatment and prevent avoidable hospital admission.

Is it possible you could contact our Heart Specialist Nurses on 01709 423257 with a view to offering any further suggestions or ideas you may have, as I am sure they will be interested in how we can better meet the needs of all patients who attend our course?

With best wishes,


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