Sarah Finch

Job Title

Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinical Nurse Specialist (ACND CNS) South & West Wales

Interests / expertise / research in CHD

Sarah has worked within cardiac services at the University Hospital of Wales since graduating as a nurse in 2003. She is passionate about nursing and improving quality of care and standards for cardiac patients; in particular those living with congenital heart disease. Congenital heart disease is close to Sarah's own heart and has fuelled her enthusiasm and determination for developing these services across Wales.

Sarah's previous roles within cardiac nursing (heart failure CNS; inherited cardiac conditions CNS; Jr Sister on Cardiac Intensive Care – caring for patients post-surgery) are of particular interest and the experience gained has been hugely beneficial in her role transition to ACHD CNS. Sarah is an independent nurse prescriber and has been involved in many nurse led clinic initiatives as a heart failure / inherited conditions specialist nurse; these clinics have been an integral part of patient care and improved access to services. In the longer term the Team hopes to develop similar nurse led services for ACHD patients across Wales and Sarah is committed to driving this forward.

The Team is working on many projects to improve care standards and pathways for all our patients. Presently it is focusing on improving care pathways for itslearning disability patients; supporting the ACHD cardiac – obstetric developments; improved recognition of depression and anxiety and expanding psychological support services; developing a robust transition clinic platform and building local palliative care networks and pathways.

The Team is constantly auditing and evaluating its ACHD CNS service to maintain and improve standards and access for patients. It also works closely with the ACHD clinical network and its level 1 ACHD Centre (Bristol Heart Institute) to audit standards of care and develop network wide protocols and pathways.

Current role and experience

Prior to the expansion of the South Wales Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) service in 2015 there was no dedicated clinical nurse specialist support.  ACHD is often complex and may impact all areas of a person’s life, therefore patients often require specialist advice, support and life-long care. Funding secured from the Welsh Health Specialist Services Committee (WHSSC) has secured the appointment of 2 full time ACHD CNSs to support ACHD services and enhance equitable access to services across South and West Wales.

Sarah's background in cardiac nursing at the University Hospital of Wales (including cardiology, cardiac surgery, critical care and specialist nurse positions) and the knowledge and expertise gained from these positions has provided an excellent platform and has been pivotal to her current development as an ACHD CNS.

Sarah's role (and goal) is to develop, improve and maintain sustainable and equitable nurse led ACHD services for the population of South Wales; providing a dedicated point of contact for support when a patient/carer/ health professional requires it. As an ACHD CNS in a level 2 centre the Team is involved in patient care in its entirety (with the exception of the immediate post-operative care). It is a truly holistic role and Sarah feels privileged to be in this unique position.

The Welsh ACHD CNS service remains in its infancy, but the Team is proud of what we it has been able to develop and support. The Team has built strong links across its network and is constantly working to engage, inform and empower all members of the multi-disciplinary team.

Interests outside of work

Sarah enjoys family time, socialising, keeping fit and remaining active and learning Welsh!