Two awards from the Atrial Fibrillation Association have been won by Surrey Heartlands partners. The AF Association Healthcare Pioneers Report recognises best practice in the identification, diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and is used as a benchmark to improve patient care.

An international expert judging panel reviewed the entries, and the winners were announced during the AF Association Global AF Aware Week annual event (endorsed by the All-Parliamentary Group on AF) hosted at the Palace of Westminster.

Royal Surrey County Hospital’s Rachel Mackay (Associate Director of Medicines Management), Carina Joanes (Lead Pharmaceutical Commissioning Pharmacist), Dr Stephen Cookson (RSCH Cardiologist) and Dr James Oldman (SHO now working at Chelsea & Westminster but previously at RSCH) were delighted to accept an award that recognised the joint work between Guildford and Waverley CCG and RSCH for developing and implementing a patient selection tool for anticoagulation choice in response to the increasing use of DOACs (Direct Oral Anticoagulants) and the significant cost pressure this is placing on prescribing budgets.

Rachel said: “It was a great experience and an endorsement of the collaboration between RSCH and the CCG in this area of work.”

The other Surrey Heartlands Atrial Fibrillation Association award went to a team from the Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSS AHSN) Alliance for Atrial Fibrillation (AF).

Clinical lead Dr Richard Blakey, Programme Manager Ellie Wells, Cardiovascular lead Jen Bayly and Senior Analyst Justin Rocliffe collected the award at the House of Commons.

Jen Bayley said: “The primary target to benefit from this project is the patient, and the Alliance aims to educate and upskill primary care practitioners around stroke prevention, to sustain the learning and close the AF prevalence gap described by Public Health England across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.”

The project worked across 29 GP Practices, reviewing 6,000 AF individual records through a combination of register, case note and face to face reviews. All patients were identified as being eligible for anticoagulation, had confirmed AF and were at a high risk of having an AF-related stroke.