Round-the-clock expertise – HCA UK’s CNS success story

For all patients, particularly those with complex illnesses, the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is a vital member of their care team. Their particular expertise means they’re able to provide practical as well as emotional support, and play a pivotal role in communication. The skills they bring play a crucial role in HCA Healthcare UK’s patient-led approach, ranging from care planning to treatment provision and follow up, always ensuring continuity of care.

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Muna Kassim is Matron of Surgical Services at HCA UK’s The Wellington Hospital. Her background, rooted in orthopaedic care, means she understands better than most the many benefits that clinical nurse specialists bring:

"I came to the Wellington and became an orthopaedic nurse specialist because I liked the idea of having that focus and being able to see a patient's journey through from start to finish she says. I also liked working alongside consultants, knowing that we were working as a team to bring real value to our patients' lives."

With a 22-bed dedicated orthopaedic ward, and the option to open up another ward for day cases, patients are well catered for. But their contact with the clinical nurse specialists will often have started well before admission, as Muna explains:

"We carry out a pre-assessment either on the phone or in person, depending on the complexities of the case or the patient’s preferences. We’ll make a note of their history, speak about their medication and help them to see what their journey with HCA UK will look like. It helps to relieve any anxiety, and helps them to feel a lot calmer knowing they've got a friendly face they've already met before."

Continuity of care

And the benefits to the patient of the clinical nurse specialists’ expertise extend far beyond the pastoral. Their deep focus and knowledge of their specialism means they play a vital role, ensuring that any treatment plan considers individual circumstances and needs.

"The nurse specialists ensure everything's in place for the patient," continues Muna. "They’ll go around with the consultants and pick up on any complex issues we can deal with before surgery, and be there alongside the consultants when the patient returns to the wards. It helps to ensure a holistic overview of that patient over and above their need for surgery – for example, whether there are things at home we need to look out for before discharge."

Such continuity of care is certainly impressive, and it’s not just limited to the wards. The orthopaedic specialist teams at HCA UK also include a surgical care practitioner who is able to bridge the gap between theatre and the wards with unparalleled professionalism. Muna explains further:

"Our surgical care practitioner is part of the orthopaedic nurse specialist team, and also assists the surgeons in theatre. She’ll do all the pre-operative checks, then go down to surgery and scrub up with the surgeon, ready to assist. She’ll also be there on the ward when the patient wakes up and has all these questions about what happened. She’ll be there and ready to answer them with absolute authority."

The CNS success story

And HCA UK’s patients aren’t the only ones to reap the rewards of the clinical nurse specialists’ experience and expertise. Our consultants also reap the rewards of working with a talented team, and many have cited this as a reason for joining HCA UK.

"Consultants want a good, strong team of clinical nurse specialists that they can rely on,” explains Muna. “When they are offsite, they feel a lot happier knowing they've got clinical nurse specialists to update them."

It’s this clear trust benefit at either end of the spectrum that’s key to the CNS success story. Inspiring confidence in patients and consultants alike, they’re central to a successful patient-centred approach, delivering highly specialised treatment alongside personalised, holistic care.

Find out more about our orthopaedic services