Coronary Care Services

Coronary Care is a service that provides ‘intensive’ nursing and medical care for patients with suspected or proven Myocardial Infarctions (heart attack). Patients are usually admitted directly to Coronary Care where they are assessed and an appropriate treatment plan is put in place.

Antrim Area Hospital

The Acute Coronary Unit (ACU) and Cardiac Ward B3 at Antrim Area Hospital provides comprehensive care of patients with a wide range of cardiac conditions, including Myocardial Infarctions (heart attack), rhythm disturbances, heart failure and general chest pain. In addition to the acute care provided, the department also provides a range of services covering all aspects of care from pre-admission through to discharge and after. These services include:

Heart Failure Service

Referrals to this specialist service are made by consultants. The service aims to provide continuity in the care and support of patients with heart failure and their families. Specialist heart failure nurses liaise with both hospital and community based health care professionals to achieve this goal. Medication, lifestyle issues and symptoms are monitored and managed via hospital clinics, home visits, telehealth and telephone contact.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Service

This specialist service is provided to clients following a myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass grafting, percutaneous coronary intervention +/- stent insertion or valve surgery. Referrals are accepted via inreach to the cardiology wards in Antrim Area Hospital, other hospital cardiac rehabilitation teams, GPs and through self-referral. It aims to integrate services between the hospital and community settings, providing a seamless service for its users to enhance recovery following acute cardiac events. It also encourages behaviour aimed at the prevention of future heart disease thereby preventing unnecessary hospital admissions/GP consultations, reducing death rates and improving quality of life.

The client firstly receives a holistic assessment whilst in hospital. Issues considered include reassurance, information, risk factor assessment and goal setting, risk stratification, education, mobilisation and involvement and support of the partner/family. This is then followed up and reinforced in a clinic / home visit within 1-2 weeks of discharge. A subsequent invitation to join the 7-week, multi-disciplinary education and exercise programme is offered or alternatively a home-based programme, the Heart Manual. Clients are then referred to local leisure centres if they are in agreement.

Direct Current Cardioversion Clinic (DCC Clinic)

This service is provided for patients who are suffering from Atrial Fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm). The clinic is held weekly.

Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic (RACPC)

This service provides urgent assessment for patients suffering from symptoms suggestive of angina (chest pain). Clinics operate in both Antrim and Causeway Hospitals. The service is accessible to GPs and Emergency Department staff who can refer patients directly to this service for specialist assessment.

Cardiac Support Group

There are presently 2 cardiac support groups which provide advice and support to cardiac patients and their families. For further details please contact the following:

Antrim/Ballymena – Liz McWilliams / Andrea Devlin, Deputy Ward Manager - 028 9442 4782
Mid-Ulster - Cardiac Rehabilitation Team - 028 7936 1036

Newtownabbey Cardiac Support Group - 029 90552512

Cardiac Arrest Team

For more information contact Ward Sister, ACU- Thelma Cathcart on 028 9442 4290,
Ward Sister, B3 - Caroline Stirman on 028 9442 4134 or
Alana Laverty, Cardiology Lead Nurse on 028 9442 4647 

Causeway Hospital, Coleraine

The Coronary Care Medical Monitoring Unit (CCMMU) at Causeway Hospital provides comprehensive care for medical patients who require specialist monitoring and for patients with cardiac conditions.

In addition to the acute care provided, the department also provides a range of services covering all aspects of care from pre-admission through to discharge and after. These services include:

Heart Failure Service

Referrals to this service are made by consultants. The service aims to provide continuity in the care and support of patients with heart failure and their families. Specialist heart failure nurses liaise with both hospital and community based health care professionals to achieve this goal. Medication, lifestyle issues and symptoms are monitored via home visits, telehealth, hospital clinics and telephone contact.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Service

This specialist service is provided to clients following a myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass grafting, percutaneous coronary intervention +/- stent insertion or valve surgery. Referrals are accepted via inreach to the cardiology wards in Antrim Area Hospital, other hospital cardiac rehabilitation teams, GPs and through self-referral. It aims to integrate services between the hospital and community settings, providing a seamless service for its users to enhance recovery following acute cardiac events. It also encourages behaviour aimed at the prevention of future heart disease thereby preventing unnecessary hospital admissions/GP consultations, reducing death rates and improving quality of life.

The client firstly receives a holistic assessment whilst in hospital. Issues considered include reassurance, information, risk factor assessment and goal setting, risk stratification, education, mobilisation and involvement and support of the partner/family. This is then followed up and reinforced in a clinic / home visit within 1-2 weeks of discharge. A subsequent invitation to join the 7-week, multi-disciplinary education and exercise programme is offered or alternatively a home-based programme, the Heart Manual. Clients are then referred to local leisure centres if they are in agreement.

Angina Outreach Service

Referrals to the Angina Service are accepted from both hospital and community settings. The aims of the service are to provide advice and support to patients with angina and their families, both in at hospital clinics or in the home setting. Patients are encouraged and educated to self-manage their symptoms, reducing the need for unnecessary hospital admission. The Specialist Angina Nurse works with with both hospital and community based health care professionals and onward referral is offered to cardiac rehabilitation if appropriate.

Direct Current Cardioversion (DCC) Service

This service is provided 2 to 3 times per week. Patients are admitted for a day procedure to treat a condition where the patient has an irregular heart rate known as Atrial Fibrillation.

24 Hour Helpline - 028 7034 6120

This helpline is available 24 hours a day for patients who have been discharged and their families. They can seek advice or reassurance if they have any fears or worries regarding their condition.

Cardiac Support Group

This is a group set up by cardiac patients. It was formed with a view to helping people along with their families and friends, to cope with the effects of living with a heart condition.

This group is supported by the Cardiac Specialist Nurses.

For more information contact Ward Sister Elaine Herald 028 7034 6119 or the Coronary Care Medical Monitoring on 028 7034 6120.

Both Antrim Area Hospital and Causeway Hospital offer the following services:

ECG ( Electrocardiograph) Interpretation Service.

This service is available to paramedics and GPs. An ECG can be faxed to CCMMU and senior nurses or doctors can offer advice on interpretation.

Cardiac Arrest Team

A team of highly skilled nurses and doctors are on call 24 hours per day to provide emergency treatment throughout the hospital for cardiac arrest and for those patients who have become acutely unwell and require advanced life support.

All nursing staff in CCMMU hold an accredited ALS (Advanced Life Support) Provider certificate. 

Related links
Information on Angina Services 
Clinical Health Psychology Service

Page last updated:28 November 2014