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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Preventative cardiology nurse appointed in Health and Community Services

27 November 2023

A new specialist nurse in preventative cardiology was recently appointed in Jersey thanks to a donation from the Island's heart charity – the Jersey Heart Support Group.

Kirstie Gouveia took up the role in June with the aim of helping improve Islanders' health using novel behavioural and medical approaches. The post was conceived by cardiologist and Jersey Heart Team Clinical Lead, Dr Andrew Mitchell, and is the first of its kind in the British Isles.

Clinics are being run at the Lido Medical Centre and Kirstie is initially focusing on patients who are being seen in other areas of the Heart Team's service. These include obese patients with heart failure and heart rhythm disturbances. The primary objective of the role is to champion heart health, with a focus on education, support, early intervention and tailored preventative measures for residents.

Kirstie will also help expand the use of innovative tests, including artificial intelligence in heart scans, heart screening, the use of disease markers and help shape a way for treating patients with high cholesterol and genetic conditions.

The specialist role showcases Jersey's innovative approach to healthcare and aligns with the government's emphasis on preventative measures.

Dr Mitchell said: "Many of the heart conditions we see, and treat are preventable. A large number of heart attacks could be avoided if the population led healthier lives. This could be by avoiding weight gain, exercising daily, avoiding tobacco products and eating more healthily.

"Our Island needs to take a much stronger preventative approach to healthcare, so rather than treating people when they are ill, we should be preventing disease from happening. People over the age of 40 with a family history of heart disease and those with high blood pressure or cholesterol should ask their GP for an assessment of their risk of having a heart attack or stroke, whilst proactively modifying their own behaviour to reduce risks."

Preventative cardiology nurse, Kirstie Gouveia said: "I am really excited to take on the challenge of helping getting Jersey residents healthier.

"By helping people change their habits and behaviour, not only will they feel better but should also live longer, reducing the need for hospital admission and expensive health interventions. The risk factors for heart disease are also similar to those for cancer, dementia and diabetes so our programme will help more than just cardiac health."

Mandi Corley Harris, chair of the Jersey Heart Support Group, said: "We are really pleased to be able to help appoint Kirstie into this important role. We are passionate about helping improve heart services for Islanders and are very proud of all the achievements our charity has already funded." 

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