Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, joined clinical experts and representatives from the UK’s leading heart failure charities to discuss how to address the growing impact that heart failure has on patients and the wider NHS.
Heart failure currently represents the only major cardiovascular condition that has become more prevalent in recent decades, with approximately 900,000 people in the UK currently living with the condition.[i] Heart failure also has a significant impact upon the NHS, costing more than £2 billion per year[ii] and accounting for 2% of all annual in-patient bed days (over a million in-patient bed days per year) and 5% of all emergency medical admissions to hospital.[iii]
In the context of significant operational and financial challenges for the health service – which have been predicted to peak this winter4 – the impact of heart failure is all the more acute.
Whilst the latest National Heart Failure Audit showed that modest improvements are being made in the number of patients surviving heart failure, due in part to increases in access to specialist care5, there remains significant scope for further improvements, particularly as quality of care remains highly variable across the country.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“I was surprised to learn that such a high number of people across the UK are living with heart failure as a major cardiovascular condition.
“Although a lot has been achieved in recent decades in getting the number of cardiovascular related deaths down, specialised services are still too sparsely spread across the country.”
[i] NICE (2010), New NICE guidance will improve diagnosis and treatment of chronic heart failure (accessed 06/09/17): https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg108/documents/new-nice-guidance-will-improve-diagnosis-and-treatment-of-chronic-heart-failure
[ii] British Heart Foundation (2016), Heart failure hospital visits increase by over a third in a decade (accessed 06/09/17): https://www.bhf.org.uk/news-from-the-bhf/news-archive/2016/june/heart-failure-hospital-visits
4 NHS Providers, Patient safety will be risked this winter without immediate funding and capacity boost for the NHS (accessed 06/09/17): http://nhsproviders.org/news-blogs/news/patient-safety-will-be-risked-this-winter-without-immediate-funding-and-capacity-boost-for-the-nhs
5 National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research (2017), National Heart Failure Audit, April 2015 – March 2016: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/nicor/audits/heartfailure/documents/annualreports/annual-report-2015-6-v8.pdf (accessed 21/09/17)