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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) – working with primary care

Lipid management and Familial Hypercholesterolaemia

The NHS Long Term Plan states that the biggest area where the NHS can save lives over the next 10 years is in reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD causes a quarter of all deaths in the UK and is the largest cause of premature mortality in deprived areas. Read more about the NHS’s work on CVD.

The national AHSN Network programme focuses on Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) detection and lipid management optimisation to reduce death and disability due to premature CVD. Read more about our work on FH and lipid optimisation, including our Child-Parent Screening programme.

The programme is part of a package of work delivered in partnership with the AAC Rapid Uptake Products (RUP) lipid programme which focuses on: High Intensity Statins, Ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors. Read more about RUP.

We supported NHS organisations to apply for funding through phase three of the NHS Pathway Transformation Fund. The fund aims to increase the adoption of RUP.  Read more about successful applications in our region to the Pathway Transformation Fund.

This programme’s objectives also include reducing health inequalities by ensuring a consistent, national approach to lipid management, using a NICE approved clinical pathway. Review the NICE approved clinical pathway for lipid management here – this is a PDF document.

Using Proactive Care Frameworks

We are supporting the piloting of a package of tools and resources designed by UCL Partners to enable primary care teams to continue to effectively manage patients with long term conditions during and post-COVID-19.

Frameworks focus on the management of Atrial Fibrillation; high blood pressure; high cholesterol; type 2 diabetes; asthma and COPD. At present we are working with primary care on pilot projects related to Type 2 diabetes in Bath, North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, and asthma.  We anticipate this being phase one of a wider project where more sites are supported to adopt the frameworks later in 2021. The second phase of the pilot will be underpinned by the local phase one evaluations and lessons learned, in addition to feedback gathered from across the national AHSN Network.

Read more about our work on proactive care frameworks, and access our free implementation resources.

For information about this project in the West of England, please contact Kate Phillips.

Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cause of an irregular heart rhythm and the cause of 20% of strokes. Despite the serious impact, many people are unaware they have the condition. It occurs more often in people aged over 65 or with other long-term conditions, and it increases a person’s risk of stroke fivefold. Some people do not experience symptoms, which increases the likelihood of their AF remaining undiagnosed and places them at greatest risk of a stroke.

Since 2017, the AHSN Network has been driving the spread and adoption of AF best practice across England to improve care and outcomes for patients.

Read more about our AF work in the West of England (from 2018 to 2020).