Sue Thomas explores how the NHS is prioritising cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which covers a wide range of conditions, including coronary heart disease, heart valve disease (HVD) and strokes, is responsible for a quarter of all deaths in the UK. It is also the largest cause of premature mortality in deprived areas.
Detecting patients at risk of CVD and preventing and treating the disease is a key priority within the NHS Long Term Plan, which has identified CVD as the single biggest area where the NHS can save lives over the next 10 years.
In line with this, there will be a big focus on population health management and a bid to drive greater public awareness of CVD. Hence, we will see technology and integrated care organisations being used to identify cohorts of patients who are at risk of CVD, so that timely interventions can be offered.
Lifestyle improvements will be key for at-risk patients, particularly weight management, and social prescribing will support this approach. Care will be delivered in line with best practice such as the NHS RightCare toolkit for CVD prevention.
A new national CVD prevention audit will feed into this activity. It will extract routinely recorded but anonymised GP data, making it easier for the new Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and other NHS organisations to improve outcomes for patients and populations.
PCNs will play a pivotal role in CVD services and CVD case-finding is one of seven new national services that they will deliver.
Many other CVD services will be provided by community teams in PCNs that are likely to include physician associates, clinical pharmacists, specialist heart failure nurses and, possibly, consultants. The use of technology, such as community echocardiograms for HVD detection, will be very important.
There will also be a major structural change in stroke services, where hyper acute specialist stroke centres with new clot-busting technology will be replacing existing stroke-receiving units.
It will be vital for pharmaceutical and medtech companies to keep abreast of local plans for CVD prevention and management, and to determine how their products can support the NHS in providing more holistic, preventative care that delivers benefits across integrated care pathways.
Free webinar on CVD in the NHS
Wilmington Healthcare will be exploring the NHS Long Term Plan’s vision for CVD in a free webinar on Tuesday 17th September at 2pm. The guest speakers will be Dr Matt Kearney, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, and Wil Woan, Chief Executive of the charity, Heart Valve Voice. To find out more about the webinar and register to attend, visit www.wilmingtonhealthcare.com/cvd.
Sue Thomas is Chief Executive Officer of Commissioning Consulting at Wilmington Healthcare. For information on Wilmington Healthcare, go to www.wilmingtonhealthcare.com