Ask the nurse!
The Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS) Advice Line first opened in 1995 with one nurse working part-time. We have now been running for 20 years, are staffed by 5 nurses, have answered 40,000 calls and have achieved accreditation with the Helplines Partnership Quality Standard 5 times!
The CHSS Advice Line nurses provide a supportive listening ear, details of local support services, and confidential information and advice about all aspects of living with chest, heart and stroke conditions.
Why is there a need for the CHSS Advice Line?
Most of us know someone who has been affected by chest, heart or stroke illness. In fact, in the UK:
- 1 in 3 people have high blood pressure (the number 1 risk factor for stroke)
- Every 45 minutes someone has a stroke
- Every 55 minutes someone has a heart attack
- Stroke is the main cause of disability in the community
- Chest illnesses of various kinds (for example, COPD) are the biggest single reason people use NHS services.
With advances in medical treatments more people are surviving heart attacks and strokes, and living for longer with chest, heart and stroke illness. These conditions often change people’s lives and can cause a lot of stress, anxiety, and depression for the people affected and their families. This is where the CHSS Advice Line Nurses come in.
What do our nurses do?
Our specialist registered nurses provide individual health advice and information directly to patients and carers, as well as to health and social care professionals. All health advice given is independent and based on the latest Scottish and UK clinical guidelines.
If they wish, callers may be sent or emailed CHSS booklets and factsheets with further information, as well as other health information from approved sources. The nurses refer people into local CHSS support services in the community, and signpost them to other organisations providing local support, such as counselling or benefits agencies.
Calls to the CHSS Advice Line are completely confidential and not time limited. People can contact the Advice Line Nurses free from landlines and mobiles, via email, text message, Facebook and Twitter.
A Text Relay service is available for the Deaf and hearing–impaired. The nurses can arrange for health information to be translated into Braille or converted to a large–print format. Global Voices (a confidential medical interpretation service) also enables callers to speak to a nurse through an interpreter.
The nurses also provide a free, daily Air Quality and Weather text alert service for people living with chest and heart conditions who might be adversely affected by poor air quality, high winds or particularly cold or hot temperatures in their local area.
What do people say about the CHSS Advice Line?
Feedback from many of our callers describes our Advice Line as “a lifeline” which:
- empowers people through increasing their knowledge and understanding of their condition
- clarifies questions to ask their GP or other health professionals
- provides reassurance that they do not have to cope with their condition and worries alone
Quotes from our callers:
- “Your Advice Line gave me invaluable help which probably saved my life”
- “I was no longer alone, someone was actually listening to me”
- “The nurse was very supportive, gave practical advice and was non-judgemental”
Contact CHSS Advice Line Nurses in the following ways:
- Call 0808 801 0899 (FREE from mobiles and landlines)
- Email [email protected]
- Text Nurse to 66777.
- Contact us through the CHSS website here
Our opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm.