Transplant unit at Harefield Hospital


Helen Doyle


The Harefield Hospital transplant unit has 34 beds on two wards (Rowan and Fir Tree). We care for patients awaiting assessment for transplantation, or who have been accepted onto the waiting list, as well as individuals following transplantation or needing re-admission with complications following transplantation. Patients with a ventricular assist device are also treated on the unit.

The service includes the artificial heart service and recipient transplant co-ordination departments. The transplant clinic provides postoperative follow-up and we also have the first cardiothoracic transplant nurse consultant in the country. 

The wards have extended care facilities for patients requiring invasive support and we were the first cardiothoracic centre to offer haemofiltration within a high dependency unit (HDU) in a ward setting.

Nursing care is based on the Orem nursing model to enable the patients to become confident and independent, which will facilitate compliance and understanding of their treatment and their new life

The philosophy of the unit is to deliver a high standard of nursing care while providing flexible working patterns for staff. The nurses rotate between both wards, and all staff are allocated a mentor and team leader. 

In-service training on the unit will enable you to expand and develop your skills in high-dependency nursing, intermediate care, complex nursing procedures and palliative care. A personal development plan with cardiorespiratory competencies is continuously updated with the aid of the practice development sister and clinical facilitator, who also keep nurses up to date with current nursing issues.

Other continuing education opportunities include an in-house transplant course. This gives an overview and good basic knowledge on which to build. There are also various in-house study days and courses. There is an opportunity to apply for the cardiothoracic course, introduction to critical care course or a course pertinent to your development. We also encourage nurses to attend national and international conferences. Pre- and post-registration students are allocated to the unit. 

You will also be given the opportunity to visit other departments that contribute to the holistic care of the patient undergoing cardiothoracic transplantation.