Falkirk specialist nurse wins national award for life saving Highlands heart treatment

An award-winning Falkirk Bairn has been making a name for himself in the Highlands with an innovative approach to health care that gets right to the heart of the matter.

By James Trimble
Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 12:21 pm

Senior charge nurse Charlie Bloe (59) moved up to Inverness 12 years ago after a highly successful career at Falkirk Royal Infirmary and in consultancy.

Now the clincial manager of Raigmore Hospital’s coronary care unit he has also just been named UK Cardiovascular Specialist Nurse of the Year 2020.

Charlie said: “Our consultant cardiologist Professor Steve Leslie put in the nomination for the project we were working on and I has heading up. We went from thinking it was just nice to be nominated, to then getting into the last three and then winning.”

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Falkirk man Charlie Bloe, who now works up in Inverness, has been named the UK's Cardivascular Specialist Nurse of the Year 2020

Unfortunately Charlie was unable to attend the Nurse of the Year Awards ceremony in London due to COVID-19 restrictions, but he did accept the award online.

While it did prevent him attending the awards Charlie said the COVID-19 problems were not as bad up North.

“Of all the places in the UK it’s probably been the least affected because social isloation is already the norm up here.”

The project which helped win Charlie the award is also helping keep people alive in the isolated landscape up north, where around 60 per cent of residents live over an hour away from Raigmore.

He said: “The project had ECGs of patients with suspected heart attacks transmitted from the patient’s home by a paramedic to the CCU where a specialist nurse assists with the interpretation of the ECG and triage of the patient.

“This enables life saving treatment to start long before the patients arrived at Raigmore Hospital. For patients that live too remotely to be transferred to the Cardiac Cath Lab for an angiogram, this enables ‘clot buster’ treatment to be initiated by the paramedic.“Every one minute delay in this treatment can reduce a heart attack patient’s life expectancy by 11 days. This project has therefore saved innumerable lives.”

Charlie and wife Gael still own a house in Falkirk and regularly travel down from Inverness. The couple’s daughter Jennifer runs AJ Dance in Falkirk town centre, while son Stephen lives out in Los Angeles.