Reducing risk of cardiovascular disease is a key priority within our Cardiovascular workstream and earlier this month we welcomed the announcement from Public Health England (PHE) of a new drive to prevent heart attacks and strokes by taking a more integrated approach to cardiovascular care.
New analysis suggests that we can prevent more than 9,000 heart attacks and at least 14,000 strokes over the next three years with better detection and management of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and atrial fibrillation.
NHS RightCare is now rolling out a programme to work with every CCG in England to support improvement in detection and management of high-risk conditions, especially atrial fibrillation and high blood pressure. Importantly, this support will focus on doing things differently, i.e. commissioning in a way that improves outcomes for patients while minimising burden on general practice, and through improved take up of the NHS Health Check.
Over the next three years, it’s estimated that across Surrey Heartlands, taking up these initiatives, there is the opportunity to prevent up to 160 heart attacks (in patients with high blood pressure), 230 strokes (in patients with high blood pressure) and 220 strokes (in patients with atrial fibrillation).
Clearly we want this to be part of our overall prevention focus, adding to the work we are doing using an approach which addresses the current challenges in the long-term management of cardiovascular disease (CVD), in particular the high levels of undiagnosed hypertension (high blood pressure) and poor control of hypertension and diabetes.
For example, we will use innovative outreach methods to engage and identify those from at-risk groups in Surrey Heartlands in order to increase early diagnosis by GPs. This will allow timely condition management in community settings such as community hubs and GP practices which will also promote self-care. This will increase patient independence and reduce reliance on specialist services.
We are already talking to clinicians including cardiovascular GPs, consultants, pharmacists and specialist nurses as well as selected members of the public to:
- communicate and discuss the population needs across Surrey Heartlands
- share good practice
- agree priority areas of work and start to investigate optimal pathways
- agree the next steps and how the work programme is collaboratively developed