First DVT Support Group: a successful aftercare service

Our Anticoagulation Specialist Nurse Louise Hill ran her very first Support Group on the 27th of April at one of our clinic locations, in partnership with Thrombosis UK. This informal meeting aimed to provide our DVT patients with extra support during their treatment and help with their recovery.

Thrombosis is a serious condition to deal with. Although it remains unknown to many people, it has a huge impact; 1 out of every 4 deaths in the world is related to thrombosis*. However, the chances of recovery are good if it is treated rapidly. Our Deep Vein Thrombosis community service treats patients within 24 hours after suspected DVT and most of our patients avoid hospital entirely by attending one of our local clinics.

Over nearly ten years running the service, GP Care has continuously worked on improving the care delivered to patients. As part of that scheme, Louise Hill, along with our clinical matron Jackie Adams has created an aftercare service:

“There is currently very little support for DVT patients in the South West. After the three-week pathway with their GP, patients are left alone but a lot of concerns and fears remain. They don’t know what to do.” Louise explains.

During the session, a dozen patients received Louise’s tips on several topics: how to improve recovery and prevent recurrence, false misconceptions on what you can or can’t do after a DVT, what to do if your symptoms get worse… These topics raised questions and stimulated conversations between the attendees who could share their experience. “You all are in the same boat”, Louise said to them. “Take this opportunity to chat together and learn from each other”. Everyone also enjoyed the knowledge of Jo Jerome, CEO of Thrombosis UK charity, who responded some of the patients’ questions and brought along useful material on DVT. At the end of the meeting, Louise taught some gentle leg and feet exercises that help prevent blood clots. We were thrilled to see the audience engaging in these workouts!

As we have received excellent feedback from the attendees, we will replicate this Support Group on a regular basis in order to help more patients and maintain a high level of service.

“Attending the Support Group have confirmed some things I was already aware of and opened me up to new ideas for why my DVT occurs.”

“I think it was all very good and you covered everything very well.”

“I appreciated being advised to check with my GP after 3 months.”

Congrats to Louise and Jackie on running this pilot event successfully and many thanks to Thrombosis UK for being involved with us.

Look at all the pictures on our Facebook page

*Source: World Thrombosis Day