Improve your heart health clinic

Di Mears, Chronic Disease Management Nurse walking through medical clinic GPs on Curzon to nurse-led heart health clinic

In 2021, Gps on Curzon established a nurse-led “Improve your Heart Health” clinic through a collaborative partnership with Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) as part of the Nursing in Primary Health Care program.

Here is GPs on Curzon’s story on how the “Improve your Heart Health” nurse clinic came to be, it’s focus and benefit to patients. Told by Di Mears, a Chronic Disease management Nurse, and Dr Rachael Gray, General Practitioner at GPs on Curzon.

Our Story

[Video Transcript]

Di Mears (Chronic Disease Management Nurse):
So, our practice manager came in with a good idea one day and said there were some grants going with APNA, and she thought it might be nice for us to go for one.

We collaborated with the directors [at GPs on Curzon] and they decided that we would focus on heart health as our clinic, and we were successful in getting that grant. 

Dr Rachael Gray (General Practitioner):
With the APNA grant, we’ve been able to concentrate on two different areas of heart health. One is prevention of heart health and the other is finding or re-engaging our patients with cardiovascular disease to really try and improve their heart health.

Di Mears (Chronic Disease Management Nurse):
We worked with a company called GoShare, and they sent out 700 or so recalls to eligible patients from our clinic to invite them to participate in the heart health check.

We saw an increase in people being less active and staying at home a lot more and smoking more; all of the things that are a risk to heart health, we were seeing an increase during COVID-19, so it was important to initiate that heart health check.

The patients are booked in through reception, obviously for their heart health check. When they arrive here, they’ll come and see the nurses first. They will get all of their observations, blood pressure checks; we go through all of the risk factors that they might have. We talk about diet, we talk about exercise, we do an ECG to check their heart and also do a cardiovascular risk assessment.

It’s a combined time between the nurse and the doctor as to the heart health check, and it’s easy to spend that time with the patient talking about diet, exercise, lifestyle changes that will help them improve their heart health.

Dr Rachael Gray (General Practitioner):
The benefits that this project has allowed us to get for our patients has been to really engage with them in a much more positive way about their heart health. Rather than [heart health] being a disease, we’ve been trying to focus on their exercise, their healthy eating, their diet and the way that affects their cardiovascular health.

Di Mears (Chronic Disease Management Nurse):
The heart health checks have been very beneficial, and we’ve seen quite a few of those patients that have come in being  referred to cardiology with issues that they didn’t know existed.

It’s been a real privilege to work alongside APNA. They’ve been an incredible support to the practice (GPs on Curzon) and to practice nurses. Without them, we probably would never have done it. It’s work that we do all the time every day, so I would really like to encourage all nurses out there to look at establishing a nurse clinic in their practice, and you’ll be well-supported by APNA.

Permission kindly granted by APNA to publish this video.