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Clinical Nurse Specialists

Clinical Nurse Specialists

Clinical Nurse Specialists

Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) provide support, education and expert nursing care and advice to patients, families and carers with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). They work closely with medical teams and specialists such as physiologists, psychologists, dieticians, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and play specialists to list just a few!  

The CNS team can be located in specialist (Level 1 and 2) or local (Level 3) centres across the network. They work in Fetal Cardiology, Paediatric Cardiology, CHD transition services and Adult CHD (ACHD). The Level 1 CNS team also travel to the network clinics with the specialist consultant teams to see patients at Joint Cardiac Clinics that we run at all Level 3 centres. 

They attend outpatient clinics working alongside the medical team to educate and support patients, families and carers. There are a number of nurse-led clinics where the CNS team will carry out the outpatient review and refer to the medical team when required.  

The Clinical Nurse Specialist Role

The CNS team are the main point of contact for patients, families and carers. They run a telephone helpline and email service and can provide advice on many aspects of living with CHD such as queries about new cardiac symptoms, information on medication and treatment and lifestyle advice. They are not able to make or cancel appointments but can help contact the correct departments or answer questions regarding what will happen at an appointment. 

They help coordinate care when patients are admitted to hospital and support patients and their families and/or carers during their hospital admission. They also give advice about going home and can provide training if required before leaving hospital. They run virtual wound monitoring clinics where they send links to patients or families/carers where photos of the surgical wound can be uploaded and reviewed by the CNS team to ensure everything is healing well and limiting the need to attend the hospital. 

If you have not met one of the CNS team or do not know how to contact them please ask when you attend your appointment. They will be happy to introduce themselves and give you their contact details.   

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