HeartFlow would like to take a moment to recognise sites that are going above and beyond to deliver an outstanding cardiac CT service to patients, especially during this COVID pandemic.
We are excited and proud to recognise the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust for their Outstanding Cardiac CT Service!
In 2019, Cornwall experienced a surge in referrals for cardiac CT, as more centres across England adopted NICE’s CG95 CT-first guidelines. The team looked to tackle incremental efficiencies to increase scanning throughout by mapping out protocols and patient flows to ensure shorter lists and efficient patient visits. However, they continued to struggle with the sheer number of referrals coming through.
Then, as a key consultant went on planned maternity leave, Cornwall realised that they were going to have to decrease the number of cardiac CT lists per week. Cornwall realised they needed to increase staff flexibility to ensure they could maintain and expand their cardiac CT service, and combat the risk of lists being cancelled.
Cornwall drew up a solution to start running radiographer-led cardiac CT lists to increase the number of cardiac CT lists a week. During radiographer-led cardiac CT lists, radiographers were able to both oversee patient scans and administer appropriate beta blocking. Cardiac CT-trained consultants are not in the department when radiographer-led cardiac CT lists are run, making this a fully independent programme.
Today, the Royal Cornwall Hospital utilises a hybrid approach for their cardiac CT service – about half of the lists each week are radiographer led, while consultants supervise the other half. Consultants typically supervise lists with more complex patients based on referral details. Radiographer-led lists have allowed Cornwall to be nimble and flexible to reduce their outstanding cardiac CT patient lists even throughout the COVID pandemic.
Cornwall’s ability to be flexible, maximize resource utilization, and commitment to high quality cardiac CT is truly world class, and we, at HeartFlow, are so proud to be working with them to enhance heart care for their patients.
The demand for cardiac CT examinations has increased 3-fold in the
last couple of years following emerging evidence and national
guidance to increase its use in patients with suspected heart
disease. Without the hard work, ingenuity and dedication of our
cardiac CT Radiographers, the RCHT CT department would not have been
able to meet this challenge. Their contribution has been outstanding
and sets standards for other centres.
Dr Andrew Edwards | Consultant Radiologist, RCHT
Not pictured Mohammed Abubakr (Consultant Cardiology) and Andrew Edwards (Consultant Radiology) who were instrumental in starting and advocating for radiographer led CT lists.