Croí bedside support initiative for patients in UHG Heart Unit

Pictured from left outside University Hospital Galway (UHG): Katie McCormack, Clinical Nurse Manager, Coronary Care Unit, UHG; Sarah Molloy, Senior Staff Nurse, Coronary Care Unit, UHG; Annie Costelloe, Croí Patient and Community Engagement Manager; Dr Lisa Hynes, Croí Head of Health Programmes; and Maeve Frawley, Croí Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist and Heartlink West Nurse Lead.

Croí, the local heart and stroke charity, this week launched a special collaboration with the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) in University Hospital Galway as part of Croí’s Heartlink West support service for people living with cardiovascular disease.

Working with the team in the Heart Unit, Croí produced a series of special videos for patients who are receiving care in the Hospital CCU. Patients can now watch these informational videos on iPads donated by Croí, with videos covering a wide range of topics, including cardiac rehabilitation; diet and exercise post-cardiac event; the emotional impact of a cardiac event or procedure; as well as advice on smoking cessation.

“We’re delighted to provide this new educational video support for patients in the CCU. These videos give patients more information and advice on life post-cardiac event or their heart procedure, and we hope this service will be a support to the incredible medical and nursing team in the CCU, which is such a busy environment,” says Croí’s Head of Health Programme, Dr Lisa Hynes.

“The CCU team here in University Hospital Galway are thrilled to collaborate with Croí on this project. In facilitating these informational videos, Croí’s Heartlink West service is supporting not just the patients, but also the CCU team to deliver the very best care to our patients. The great thing about this project is that these patients and their families can also follow up with Croí’s HeartLink West nurse when they go home with any further questions or concerns they might have,” says Katie McCormack, CCU Clinical Nurse Manager.

Croí plans to expand this support service later this year to more coronary care units in the west of Ireland, with additional video content being developed in the coming months. Croí’s Heartlink West support service also offers a free telephone helpline, Monday to Friday from 9 am – 5:30 pm on 091-544310. Learn more about the work at Croí by visiting www.croi.ie.

Official Opening of the Croí Family Room in the Coronary Care Unit at UHG

Croí, the Heart and Stroke Charity, recently funded the furnishing and redesign of a new family room for the Coronary Care Unit at University Hospital Galway. The Coronary Care Unit is a specialist unit for patients recovering after a heart attack or with other serious heart conditions. It is the primary heart unit for the Saolta Hospital Group and patients from all parts of the West and North West of the country are cared for there.

Commenting on the importance of the new family room, hospital manager Ms Chris Kane said, “Many of the patients treated in the Coronary Care Unit arrive by ambulance or helicopter with little time to prepare for a hospital stay. They come from all parts of the country and having a family room available makes a huge difference to the families who may travel long distances to the hospital in stressful situations. We are very appreciative of the support from Croí which made the new family room possible.”

Rosetta Reilly from Co Cavan who spent time in the family room earlier this year while her mother was under the care of the Coronary Care Unit said, “Our family were delighted to have use of the Croí Family Room for the duration of our mother’s six night hospital stay. I was here every day and the rest of the family visited daily from Cavan. We were able to have a cup of tea together between visits to the Coronary Care Unit and I was able to rest here too. Living so far from the hospital, it was fantastic to have a home away from home which allowed us to be close to our mother.”

Christine Flanagan, Croí’s Director of Fundraising said, “We are proud of the beautiful space that has been created with the Croí Family Room. Part of our mission here at Croí is to support families faced with heart disease or stroke, and we wanted to provide a calming space for families going through a difficult time as their loved ones receive care in University Hospital Galway.”

To redesign the family space in the hospital, Croí joined up with Interior Designer Rosie O’Connell, who generously donated her time for the project. “Rosie collaborated with the team at the hospital and really helped transform the room into a calm space for families to recharge,” says Flanagan.

“Croí’s work is entirely funded from the proceeds of fundraising events, voluntary contributions and philanthropy. The Croí Family Room refurbishment was made possible thanks to generous donations to Croí’s Patient and Family Support Services fund. Other Croí Patient and Family Support Services include free accommodation in the Courtyard Apartments at Croí, where families can stay close to a loved one who is undergoing surgery or receiving stroke or cardiac care at Galway University Hospital. To learn more about Croí, the Heart and Stroke Charity, visit www.croi.ie.”

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Dr Briain MacNeill, Consultant Cardiologist; Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí; Chris Kane, General Manager, Galway University Hospitals (GUH); and Geraldine Murray, Director of Nursing, GUH at the official opening of the Croí Family Room in the hospital’s Coronary Care Unit.
Dr Briain MacNeill, Consultant Cardiologist; Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí; Chris Kane, General Manager, Galway University Hospitals (GUH); and Geraldine Murray, Director of Nursing, GUH at the official opening of the Croí Family Room in the hospital’s Coronary Care Unit.
Rosemary Walsh, Assistant Director of Nursing; Sinead Duke, Nurse Manager Coronary Care Unit; Christine Flanagan, Fundraising Director, Croí and Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí at the official opening of the Croí Family Room in the Coronary Care Unit at University Hospital Galway. Photo: Brian Harding.
Rosemary Walsh, Assistant Director of Nursing; Sinead Duke, Nurse Manager Coronary Care Unit; Christine Flanagan, Fundraising Director, Croí and Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí at the official opening of the Croí Family Room in the Coronary Care Unit at University Hospital Galway. Photo: Brian Harding.