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Nurse helping heart patients get home sooner

Craig Robertson who is international nurse

A nurse is helping heart attack patients get home more quickly, reducing the time they need to spend in hospital.

More than 700 hours of hospital time has been saved in the last 18 months by specialist nurses discharging heart attack and pre-planned stenting patients home rather than doctors. This has shortened the time they have to spend in hospital by an average of seven hours.  

Craig Robertson, 30, from Southend, is a percutaneous coronary intervention nurse specialist at the world-renowned Cardiothoracic Centre at Basildon Hospital.

He said: “Before I started my role in November 2020, patients were, on average, going home at 4pm - they're now getting to go home at 10.30am. I’m almost up to my 100th discharge, meaning we’ll have saved patients around 700 hours in time, getting them home sooner and giving the same great standard of care.”

Craig has been a nurse at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust since 2014 and has a real passion for his job, and most of all helping people. As part of International Nurses’ Day (May 12) he took time to talk about his chosen career and continued love for his role.

Nursing was always something Craig wanted to do. He said: “I think I was one of those lucky people who knew they wanted to be a nurse from a young age, whereas a lot of people struggle about what they want to do growing up.”

And Craig thinks attitudes to men being nurses has changed. He doesn’t feel there is any difference in being a nurse, whether you are male or female, so other men thinking about going into the profession shouldn’t see that as a barrier.

“I never really thought about it because there's male and female nurses and male and female doctors. I think I'm from that generation where I don't really see it in that way at all.

“Nursing is really tough, but it is really rewarding. It comes with its challenges, but so does every job. I absolutely love cardiology, and now I don’t think I could work in any other speciality. It is my passion and so are my patients and their care.”

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