CVD prevention pathway rolled out across England
NHS England has announced that millions of people are to be offered checks for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and atrial fibrillation at GP surgeries and local pharmacies, as part of a drive to prevent heart disease and early deaths.
The scheme is called the NHS Right Care Cardiovascular disease prevention pathway and is the first in a series of optimal value pathways on a number of conditions. The scheme aims to identify people with heart disease risk factors by doing simple checks at GP surgeries and pharmacies. It will also take steps to ensure that people who have previously been diagnosed with high blood pressure or high cholesterol are on the appropriate medication. So far, the scheme has been rolled out at 84 of the 209 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England, with plans to introduce it at the remaining CCGs within the next two years.
Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Early detection of high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation or high cholesterol will ensure more people get the right treatments to prevent heart attacks and stroke. The NHS is good at doing this in some areas of the country but not all. If we can get the NHS to detect and treat atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and high cholesterol better, we will reduce the burden of disease on individuals, their families and the NHS.”
At the same time, Public Health England is running a campaign to encourage people to check their Heart Age using a simple 3-minute test.
The Right Care programme is providing the NHS with the support and resources it needs to reduce the unacceptable variations in care across the country, ultimately to improve outcomes for patients. The programme is committed to delivering the best care to patients, making the NHS’s money go as far as possible and improving patient outcomes.
The Heart Age Test is collaboration between partners including Public Health England, NHS Choices, British Heart Foundation, British Cardiovascular Society, University College London, and The Stroke Association.