Acute Demand Service Supporting Patients with Chronic Heart Conditions

The Pegasus Health Acute Demand Service provides community based care for patients that would otherwise require hospital admission. Established in 2000, the Acute Demand service is the only one of its kind in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Among other conditions, Acute Demand supports people with chronic, long-term heart conditions to receive care in their own homes.

“Typically, we see patients who have been discharged from hospital and support them towards self management at home. The goal is to keep people out of hospital,” Barbara Hendry, Nursing Team Leader – Acute Demand said.

Acute Demand provides short-term support for patients with heart failure as needed until the patient has a better understanding of how to self-manage. The Acute Demand team use the Staying Well with heart failure booklet produced by the Heart Foundation. An excellent resource to help patients self-manage their condition by helping them to understand their medications and recognise declining symptoms.

Both general practitioners (GPs) and the hospital can refer patients to Acute Demand. Heart patients will typically present with shortness of breath, swollen legs, chest pain or other symptoms.

“Acute Demand is an excellent stepping stone to avoid hospital admission. We can support people to get their health back under control and set them up to understand and manage their condition long-term,” Barbara said