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Report on heart failure care aims to improve patient experience

23 January 2009

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A report released today (Friday 23 January) by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement aims to provide primary care services with guidance on how to achieve high-quality care for all heart failure patients.

The report, Focus on Heart Failure, is one of a series which highlights best practice within key services in the NHS in order to improve delivery.

With heart failure affecting one in 1,000 people, and that number set to rise by at least 10% each year, dealing with heart failure patients is more important than ever for the NHS.  When combined with other heart diseases, the annual cost to the NHS of supporting these patients is £625m.

Over the last 12 months, the NHS Institute has observed clinical practice across England to identify the key characteristics of the most effective services in this area. These include providing patients with adequate access to support groups and information, and to dedicated rehabilitation, and deploying specialist nurses in GP practices.

Commenting on the report, Dr Richard Levy, consultant cardiologist at University Hospital South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust and clinical lead for the heart failure programme at the NHS Institute, said:

“Heart failure is a significant health issue for the NHS. We believe our work in this report will be of use to all leaders and multidisciplinary teams across primary and secondary care who are already committed to developing heart failure services.

“During our observations we found various factors that lead to high-quality care for heart failure. The Focus on Heart Failure report will help NHS trusts develop ideas about how this could be adapted to their own local services.”

NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement