Alliance for Heart Failure update Winter 2019:

Welcome to the first Alliance for Heart Failure update of 2019. Please see below an update on progress towards our objectives and an outline of our objectives for this year.

Campaign strategy

  1. Regional campaign

An outreach programme in 2018 targeted the four regions we identified as those that would benefit most from our support*. Useful contacts were made following positive engagement from several organisations and, after discussions, one in particular – Barnsley CCG – is embarking on discussions with our industry member, Medtronic.

* South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, Greater Manchester, South East London, and Derbyshire

  • 2019 plans

Objective: To build on the current outreach programme by ensuring Heart Failure is not overlooked in regional plans.

Following the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan, the NHS regional organisations (STPs and ICSs) in England are required to publish their own short- and longer-term plans working with local councils and other partners. These strategies “will set out how they intend to take the ambitions that the NHS Long Term Plan details, and work together to turn them into local action to improve services and the health and wellbeing of the communities they serve”. Local plans for 2020/21 will be published by April 2019 with their five-year plans following in the autumn.

The Alliance plans to develop a template response to these plans and contribute to as many regional consultations as possible with our current resources.

  • National push

Since our last update, members of the Alliance Steering Committee met with national cardiology leads for the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) initiative, Dr Sarah Clarke and Professor Simon Ray. In a very constructive discussion, it became apparent that Heart Failure is high on GIRFT’s agenda. A National Plan for Cardiology will be published by GIRFT after 40-50 Trusts have been visited.

The team also confirmed that Heart Failure would feature prominently in the NHS Long Term Plan (see Consultations section).

  • 2019 plans

Objective: To continue to build on the positive engagement with national stakeholders to influence regional NHS plans.

Our plans include further engagement with the NAO and GIRFT as well as new contact with NHS RightCare and Health Education England. In addition, discussions with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Heart and Circulatory Diseases will seek to prompt a review of progress since the publication of the Focus on Heart Failure report, while a roundtable event in Westminster will bring together key stakeholders for a discussion on the issue.

  • The heart failure community

For the third year running the Alliance was represented at the British Society for Heart Failure Annual Autumn Meeting at the QEII Centre in London in November. The aim was to keep delegates aware of the activity and progress of the Alliance and to encourage them to advocate improvements in their regions. Over 50 delegates signed up to receive this regular update.

The event is supported all year around with engagement via our Twitter account (@AllianceforHF), which now has nearly 600 Followers, updates to our website, which received 30% more page views in 2018 compared with the year before, as well as responses to developments such as the NICOR Audit and NCEPOD report).

Our Annual General Meeting, which coincided with the BSH Meeting, was well attended and positive. The full list of attendees follows:

  • Janine Beezer (UK Heart Failure Pharmacy Forum)
  • Lizelle Bernhardt (British Association for Nursing in Cardiovascular Care)
  • Andrew Clark (British Society for Heart Failure)
  • Hayes Dalal (British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation)
  • Angela Graves (Pumping Marvellous)
  • Helena Masters (Novartis)
  • Ros Meek (Medtronic)
  • Jim Moore (British Society for Heart Failure)
  • Joel Rose (Cardiomyopathy UK)
  • Alison Scott (Medtronic)
  • Iain Squire (British Society for Heart Failure)
  • Jacqui Young (Roche)
  • 2019 plans

Objective: To raise awareness among Heart Failure professionals to build on existing grassroots support

Our presence at the BSH Annual Autumn Meeting in 2019 will be supported with ongoing media relations and social media engagement.

  • Consultations

The Alliance responded to a number of important consultations in 2018, including the NHS Long Term Plan. We were delighted to see that Heart Failure and cardiac rehabilitation featured prominently in the plan. Our full response can be found here. We are hopeful that, with input from the Alliance, the regional NHS plans will place the same emphasis on improving Heart Failure services.

Following the publication of the plan in January, the Alliance wrote to Health Education England to point out the importance of natriuretic peptide testing as a first form of diagnosis and to emphasise the need to address the chronic shortage of echocardiographers. We will be following up to arrange further discussions.

As you can see, we are taking positive steps forward with our goal of raising awareness of the importance of Heart Failure and we have clear plans for building on that progress in 2019.

We are delighted that we will benefit from the additional support of Abbott Laboratories this year, who have agreed to join the Alliance as an industry member.

Finally, thank you for your ongoing support for the Alliance. If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact the Alliance Secretariat at

Kind regards

Prof Iain B Squire, Joel Rose – Co-chairs, Alliance for Heart Failure