The Health Directorate is working towards the creation of Chronic Disease Management (CDM) Clinics. These clinics will be nurse led, with referrals to other professionals when needed. The Directorate is aiming to start these clinics in July 2018 after completion of some additional training.
What is a Chronic Disease?
Chronic Diseases are diseases of long duration and generally slow progression. They include heart disease, hypertension, kidney disease, respiratory diseases (COPD and Asthma) and diabetes.
Why do we need Chronic Disease Management Clinics?
Patients with a chronic illness may need regular checks to monitor their health and wellbeing. This may involve certain tests, such as a blood test, a blood pressure check and sometimes an ECG (echocardiogram) to check their heart. The nurses are skilled and able to monitor patients' health and request these tests when necessary.
Why can't I just see my doctor?
Chronic Diseases are lived with for many years; the aim is to increase patients' ability to better manage these diseases long term. Evidence has shown that this works well with regular check-ups with a nurse and a yearly (or six-monthly) review by a doctor. If your nurse feels at any time that you need to see a doctor sooner, they will refer you.
What are the benefits to patients?
The Directorate wants to be able to provide you with support, information and to monitor chronic diseases. The Directorate wants to help reduce the number of hospital admissions due to the complications of Chronic Diseases. The care of Chronic Diseases is delivered in both hospital and community settings and is often managed by patients themselves who become experts in their own condition and its treatment.
How will this work?
The Community Nurses will start to call patients in for CDM clinics later in the year. If you feel you have a Chronic Disease you can contact the Community Nurses to make an appointment (from July). Your assessment at this clinic will determine how frequently the nurses will need to see you.
Source: St Helena Government