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Found 56 results
  1. News Article
    Patients in England are set to benefit from a radical new project that will look to identify innovative new methods of preventing cardiovascular disease, as the Department of Health and Social Care appoints the first ever Government Champion for Personalised Prevention. John Deanfield CBE, a Professor of Cardiology at University College London, has been asked by the health secretary to explore how the potential of technology and data can be properly harnessed to allow people to better look after their health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Professor Deanfield will spearhead a taskforce comprised of experts in everything from policy and technology to economics and behavioural science to deliver a range of recommendations that will lay the foundations for a modern, tailored cardiovascular disease prevention service. The Government say the recommendations will: Identify breakthroughs in predicting, preventing, diagnosing and treating risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Advise on how public services, businesses and the population can be encouraged to support prevention outside the NHS. Use personalised data to predict and manage disease more effectively. Bring care closer to homes and communities by establishing new partnerships that advance the way preventative services are delivered. Evaluate how this strategy for cardiovascular disease prevention may impact conditions with shared risk factors. Read full story Source: NHE, 7 March 2023
  2. Content Article
    Actions General practices: Practices using EMIS: If you have received a ‘task’ from EMIS identifying specific patients who have a record of a mechanical heart valve and are receiving a DOAC, and you have not already actioned this request, urgently review these patients to ensure they are on the most appropriate anticoagulation therapy and monitoring. Practices using TPP: If you have received a ‘task’ from TPP identifying specific patients who have a record of a mechanical heart valve and are receiving a DOAC, and you have not already actioned this request, urgently review these patients to ensure they are on the most appropriate anticoagulation therapy and monitoring. Practices using other GP system software: If your practice does not use EMIS or TPP software, urgently review all patients with a mechanical heart valve to ensure they are on the appropriate anticoagulant therapy and monitoring. Providers of anticoagulation services: Urgently check patient records from January 2020 to identify any patient with a mechanical heart valve who has been switched from a VKA to an alternative anticoagulant. For identified patients you should either: (i) Urgently review these patients if still under the care of the service to ensure they are on the appropriate anticoagulant therapy and monitoring or (ii) Work with the patient’s GP to ensure the patient receives an urgent review.
  3. News Article
    Striking ambulance workers in two regions have said for the first time that they will only answer immediately life-threatening calls — abandoning previous agreements to cover some Category 2 incidents. Agreed exemptions (derogations) from ambulance strike action so far this winter have varied regionally and across different unions; but all have so far included some Category 2 cover. However, GMB told HSJ its members in the North East and North West today would cover only Category 1 calls – defined as “immediately life threatening” – during their action today. Category 2 includes more than any other category, and covers a wide range of incidents including suspected heart attacks and strokes. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 20 February 2023
  4. Content Article
    Coroner's Matter of Concerns: Evidence was heard that there was a delay in Mrs Brind being transferred from the ambulance to the Emergency Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as there was no space in the hospital As delays are a reoccurring problem, checks are made by paramedics and Hospital clinicians on patients while they wait in ambulances for transfer into the hospital to assist in prioritising the need for transfer. In the case of Mrs Brind, physiological observations were not undertaken regularly in accordance with East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) Guidance and when they were taken, her high NEWS2 score was not escalated to the Hospital Ambulance Navigator who assesses priority for beds in the hospital. Further Mrs Brind was not assessed by a senior doctor from the Hospital within an hour, in accordance with Hospital protocol Coroner was satisfied that steps have been taken by both EEAST and the Hospital in respect of these matters and do not make a report in respect of either of these matters Evidence was heard that there are regularly too many patients in the Emergency Department and so ambulances cannot safely transfer patients into the Emergency Department. The EEAST is working with the Hospital (along with other hospitals in the area) to find ways to deal with this problem and methods are in place to try to alleviate the consequences of these delays. However, it was heard that this is a much wider and more complex problem, in that the Hospital is unable to discharge patients who are medically fit to be discharged and they remain occupying much needed beds. This in turn means patients cannot be moved from the Emergency Department into the hospital wards, and patients remain waiting in ambulances. This in turn causes delays in ambulances being returned to normal duty and being able to attend to emergencies in the community. Evidence was heard that at the time of Mrs Brind’s death, approximately 7 ambulances were waiting to transfer patients into the Emergency Department, Queen Elizabeth Hospital. At the time of the inquest, this had risen to 17 ambulances commonly waiting to transfer patients from the ambulance into the Emergency Department. Further at the time of the inquest there were approximately 140 beds at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital occupied by patients who were medically fit to be discharged, but beds could not be found in the community.
  5. News Article
    A coroner has urged the health secretary to take action to prevent needless deaths after a woman died of heart failure following a four-hour wait in the back of an ambulance. Lyn Brind, 61, was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, with chest pains and low blood oxygen levels but could not be admitted because the hospital had “no space”. Instead she remained in a queue of ambulances outside A&E without a timely diagnosis or treatment and where warning signs about her condition were missed. It was only after four hours and 25 minutes of waiting that she was transferred to a ward, by which time she was “agitated and short of breath”. She was placed on life support but died 22 minutes later. Brind’s family believe the grandmother of four, a former dinner lady from the town, “might still be alive today” had she been admitted more swiftly. “She wasn’t given a chance,” her partner of 38 years, Richard Bunton, said. After an inquest earlier this month into Brind’s death in May 2022, the senior coroner for Norfolk, Jacqueline Lake, took the unusual step of writing to England’s health secretary, Steve Barclay, to raise concerns about the NHS and social care. She warned that others could die in similar circumstances unless action was taken. “I believe you have the power to take such action,” Lake wrote in a prevention of future deaths report. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 29 January 2023
  6. News Article
    A heart failure patient has become the first in the UK to be fitted with an early warning sensor the size of a pen lid which gives off an alert if their condition deteriorates. Consultant cardiologists Dr Andrew Flett and Dr Peter Cowburn have pioneered the procedure to fit the FIRE1 System during trials at University Hospital Southampton (UHS), Hampshire. Dr Flett said: “This innovative new device has the potential to improve patient safety and outcomes in the management of patients with chronic heart failure and we are delighted to be the first site in the UK to implant as part of this ground-breaking study". Read full story Source: The Independent, 12 February 2023
  7. News Article
    The NHS in England is set to have a major conditions strategy to help determine policy for the care of increasing numbers of people in England with complex and often multiple long-term conditions. Conditions covered by the strategy will include cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, dementia, mental health conditions, and musculoskeletal disorders. Cancer will also be included and will no longer have its own dedicated 10 year strategy. England’s health and social care secretary, Steve Barclay, told the House of Commons on 24 January that the strategy would build on measures in the NHS long term plan. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 25 January 2023
  8. News Article
    During the pandemic, nearly half a million people in the UK missed out on starting medication to help prevent heart attacks and strokes, a new study suggests. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) team looked at prescribing data for the first 18 months after Covid hit. Some 491,000 people (27,000 a month) appear to have missed out on blood pressure pills, and 316,000 did not get treatment to lower their cholesterol. The team says more needs to be done to make sure that anyone who needs treatment gets it. During the pandemic, normal NHS services were severely disrupted. For example, there was a reduction in diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of high blood pressure, and other heart and circulation disease risk factors. Although the NHS took action, including providing more than 220,000 blood pressure monitors for people to use at home, data shows two million fewer people in England were recorded as having controlled hypertension in 2021 compared to the previous year. Lead investigator Prof Reecha Sofat, who is based at the University of Liverpool, said the findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, highlight the impact Covid has had on other important health conditions: "Despite the incredible work done by NHS staff, our data show that we're still not identifying people with cardiovascular risk factors at the same rate as we were before the pandemic. " Read full story Source: BBC News, 20 January 2023
  9. News Article
    About 15 million more people in England could be prescribed daily cholesterol-lowering statin pills to cut their risk of heart attacks and stroke, new advice for the NHS says. Given the very cheap price of the tablets and the possible health gains, they should be considered more often, the draft guidance says. There can be side effects though and there is debate about how widely this long-term treatment should be given and what associated risks are acceptable. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which advises the NHS, says people should be thoroughly assessed before statins are prescribed, warning the pills are not a quick fix or substitute for a healthy diet and exercise. The previous advice was for anyone with a one in 10 chance of having a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, within the next 10 years - based on factors such as age, blood pressure and cholesterol levels - to be offered a statin. But NICE now says including adults with a one in 20 chance could save 2% of them from having a heart attack or stroke during that period. Spokesman Paul Chrisp said patients should discuss the benefits and risks with their doctor, adding: "The evidence is clear, in our view, that for people with a risk of 10% or less over 10 years, statins are an appropriate choice." Read full story Source: BBC News, 12 January 2023
  10. News Article
    Women are four times as likely to die after childbirth in Britain as in Scandinavian countries, a study published in the BMJ has found. Researchers analysed data on the number of women who die because of complications during pregnancy in eight high-income European countries. They found that Britain had the second-highest death rate, with one in 10,000 mothers dying within six weeks of giving birth, only slightly less than in Slovakia, the worst performing. The study found that rates of “late” maternal death — when women die between six weeks and a year after giving birth — were nearly twice as high in Britain as in France, the only other country for which data was available. Heart problems and suicide were the main causes of death. Professor Andrew Shennan, an obstetrician at King’s College London, said: “Any death relating to pregnancy is devastating. Equally shocking are the avoidable discrepancies in worldwide maternal mortality. “Causes of [maternal] death are relatively consistent across the world, and largely avoidable. Most deaths are due to haemorrhage, sepsis and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. “In Europe, non-obstetric causes of death have become proportionately more common than obstetric causes, including deaths from cardiovascular disease (23%) and suicide (13%); these should be prioritised.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times. 17 November 2022
  11. News Article
    Extreme disruption to NHS services has been driving a sharp spike in heart disease deaths since the start of the pandemic, a charity has warned. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) said ambulance delays, inaccessible care and waits for surgery are linked to 30,000 excess cardiac deaths in England. It has called for a new strategy to reduce "unacceptable" waiting times. Doctors and groups representing patients have become increasingly concerned about the high number of deaths of any cause recorded this year. New analysis of the mortality data by the BHF suggests heart disease is among the most common causes, responsible for 230 deaths a week above expected rates since February 2020. The charity said "significant and widespread" disruption to heart care services was driving the increase. Its analysis of NHS data showed that 346,129 people were waiting for time-sensitive cardiac care at the end of August 2022, up 49% since February 2020. It said 7,467 patients had been waiting more than a year for a heart procedure - 267 times higher than before the pandemic. At the same time, the average ambulance response time for a suspected heart attack has risen to 48 minutes in England against a target of 18 minutes, according to the latest NHS figures. The BHF said difficulty accessing face-to-face GP and hospital care may have also contributed to the rise. Read full story Source: BBC News, 3 November 2022
  12. News Article
    Senior doctors have sent a warning over the “shambles” of heart attack care after pressures on the NHS have left patients waiting eight hours for an ambulance. The caution comes as several hospitals in the past week have declared critical incidents over the level of pressure on their emergency care services. Portsmouth Hospital said on Monday: “Demand for an emergency response is far outstripping the capacity available in Portsmouth and South East Hampshire at this time.” Professor Mama Mamas, a consultant cardiologist in Stoke and Professor of Cardiology at Keele University, told The Independent: “I was on call this weekend and I was seeing delays of eight hours. It was several people, three or four this weekend with heart attacks that waited between four and eight hours … it’s a national disgrace that we’re in this situation. “I think that patient care is being compromised. We know that time is muscle and an eight-hour delay getting an ambulance to a patient with a heart attack is impacting on the survival levels.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 13 October 2022
  13. News Article
    Millions of people in the UK are suffering poor health because they miss out on vital rehabilitation after strokes, heart attacks and cancer, which in turn is also heaping further pressure on the NHS, a damning report warns. Physiotherapists say some groups of patients are particularly badly affected. Without access to these services, many patients desperately trying to recover from illness became “stuck in a downward spiral”, they said, with some developing other health conditions as a result. The new report by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) says millions of people in marginalised communities, including those from ethnic minorities, are not only more likely to live shorter lives, but also spend a greater proportion of their lives struggling with health difficulties. Vital services that could tackle those inequities are either unavailable or poorly equipped to meet their needs, the report warns, adding that “some communities face particular barriers”. Prof Karen Middleton, the chief executive of the CSP, said: “Rehabilitation services have been under-resourced for decades and were not designed coherently in the first place. This has exacerbated poor health outcomes, particularly for people from marginalised groups. “It’s not only the individual who suffers. Without adequate access to rehabilitation, health conditions worsen to the point where more and more pressure is eventually piled on struggling local health systems and other public services. “We desperately need a modernised recovery and rehabilitation service that adequately supports patients following a health crisis and prevents other conditions developing.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 21 September 2022
  14. Content Article
    The handbook covers the following topics: The Yentl Syndrome Heart disease Stroke Autoimmune disease Dementia Cancer Handling your health Helping women be heard Who’s an expert on your body? Menstruation Pregnancy Infertility Menopause Mental health
  15. News Article
    Dentists in the UK should be encouraged to give antibiotics to patients at high risk of life-threatening heart infection before invasive procedures, a study has found. Research suggests bacteria from the mouth entering the bloodstream during dental treatment could explain 30% to 40% of infective endocarditis cases. The rare but life-threatening condition occurs when the inner lining of the heart chambers and valves become infected. Antibiotics could limit the number of cases and reduce the risk of heart failure, stroke and premature death in high-risk patients, the study says. Current guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) advise against the routine use of antibiotics before invasive dental procedures for those at risk of infective endocarditis. “Ours is the largest study to show a significant association between invasive dental procedures and infective endocarditis, particularly for extraction and surgical procedures,” said Prof Martin Thornhill from the University of Sheffield, who led the study. Nice should review its guidelines advising against antibiotic prophylaxis, the researchers said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 19 August 2022
  16. News Article
    Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) officials are concerned that many more people are dying than expected in recent months – particularly older working-age people – with NHS care delays and interruptions a likely cause. HSJ understands there is concern and analysis under way across the chief medical officer’s team and in the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. The DHSC told HSJ initial work showed the biggest causes of the “excess deaths” were cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and strokes) and diabetes. This supports the case they are being caused by a combination of the current very long delays for ambulances and other emergency care, and by people with heart disease and diabetes missing out on routine checks due to Covid and its knock-on effects, HSJ was told. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 17 August 2022
  17. News Article
    One in 25 people who die of a heart attack in the north-east of England could have survived if the average cardiologist effectiveness was raised to the London level, research shows. The research, undertaken by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), looked at the record of over 500,000 NHS patients in the UK, over 13 years. It highlights the stark “postcode lottery” of how people living in some parts of the country have access to lower quality healthcare. The results found that while cardiologists treating patients in London and the south-east had the best survival rates among heart attack patients, patients being treated in the north-east and east of England had the worst. Among 100 otherwise identical patients, an additional six patients living in the north-east and east of England would have survived for at least a year if they had instead been treated by a similar doctor in London. Furthermore, if the effectiveness of doctors treating heart attacks in these areas of the country were just as effective as the cardiologists in London, an additional 80 people a year in each region would survive a heart attack. The research also revealed a divide between rural and urban areas of England, with patients living in the former typically receiving treatment from less effective doctors compared with those in more urban areas. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 9 August 2022
  18. Event
    Collaboration to deliver NHS Long Term Plan goals on CVD and Population Health Management A novel injectable treatment for people at risk of cardiovascular disease is being made available to patients more quickly, thanks to a three-way agreement between NHS England and NHS Improvement, the AHSN Network and the pharmaceutical company, Novartis. Inclisiran is the first of a new type of cholesterol-lowering therapy, which uses RNA interference (RNAi) to boost the liver’s ability to remove harmful cholesterol from the blood. It can be given to people with high cholesterol who have already had a previous cardiovascular event to reduce the chances of them having another. This webinar will introduce this innovative injectable therapy, explore it’s its place on the treatment pathway, and how it can support both the NHS Long Term Plan dual ambitions of reducing cardiovascular disease and through Population Health Management. Register for the webinar