Clinicians, patients and industry unite to raise the profile of heart failure
A coalition of charities, patient groups, professional bodies and healthcare companies with an interest in heart failure has been established to raise the profile of the condition within Government, the NHS and the media. The Alliance for Heart Failure unites thirteen organisations behind the cause.
Outcomes for people with heart failure remain poor. 30–40% of patients diagnosed with heart failure die within a year.1 However, good medical therapy can greatly improve survival and quality of life.2, 3 The Alliance for Heart Failure’s mission is to achieve better outcomes for people with heart failure by ensuring that every person with the condition is diagnosed in a timely fashion and has access to the right care, treatment, services and support. This includes access to specialist cardiology care, which has been consistently shown to deliver better outcomes for patients.4
Members of the Alliance collaborate on overarching policy issues with the aim of securing prioritisation of heart failure and improving access to care, treatment and services for people with the condition. The Alliance’s programme of activities is led by two elected Co-Chairs, including a patient organisation representative, and overseen by a Steering Committee. The Alliance is supported and funded by Abbott Laboratories, Medtronic Limited, Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd, and Roche Diagnostics Ltd.
AHF members have been co-opted onto the Advisory Panel for the Inquiry into Living with Heart Failure set up by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Heart Disease (APPG). The Advisory Panel’s role is to advise the Inquiry Steering Group on key issues such as the scope of the Inquiry, what evidence should be sought, and from whom, and the content and recommendations of the report.
The Inquiry, chaired by Stuart Andrew MP, is due to report its findings in autumn 2016.
Heart failure is debilitating and life threatening. Outcomes are poor: five year survival rate for heart failure is worse than breast or prostate cancer.5 Heart failure represents a major and growing cost to the NHS and wider society. It is a leading cause of hospital admission in over 65s6 and is one of the five long-term conditions responsible for 75% of unplanned hospital admissions.7
1 Cowie MR, Wood DA, Coats AJ et al. Survival of patients with a new diagnosis of heart failure:
a population based study. Heart. 2000. 83: 505–10. Available at:
http://heart.bmj.com/content/83/5/505.long [Accessed July 2016]
2 Cleland JG, Clark AL. Delivering the cumulative benefits of triple therapy to improve outcomes
in heart failure: too many cooks will spoil the broth. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003 Oct 1;42(7):1234-7. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14522487?report=docsum [Accessed July
3 Gregg C. Fonarow, MD; Nancy M. Albert, MD; Anne B. Curtis, MD; Mihai Gheorghiade, MD;
Yang Liu, MS; Mandeep R. Mehra, MBBS; Christopher M. O’Connor, MD; Dwight Reynolds,
MD; Mary N. Walsh, MD; Clyde W. Yancy, MD. Incremental Reduction in Risk of Death
Associated With Use of Guideline-Recommended Therapies in Patients With Heart Failure: A
Nested Case-Control Analysis of IMPROVE HF. J Am Heart Assoc. 2012 Feb;1(1):16-26
4 NICOR (National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research). National Heart Failure
Audit, April 2014-March 2015.
5 Askoxylakis, V. et al. Long-term survival of cancer patients compared to heart failure and
stroke: A systematic review. BMC Cancer. 2010. 10:105. Available at:
http://bmccancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2407-10-105 [Accessed July 2016]
6 NICE. Acute heart failure: diagnosing and managing acute heart failure in adults. October
2014. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg187 [Accessed July 2016]
7 NHS England. Emergency admissions for Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions –
characteristics and trends at national level. March 2014. Available at:
[Accessed July 2016]