Alliance for Heart Failure update – Autumn 2019:
Welcome to the Alliance for Heart Failure’s third update for 2019. This latest period has seen some significant progress in our annual plan, including some important engagement with stakeholders at a national level. The latest NICOR Heart Failure Audit was also published in September, revealing both positive improvements, but equally highlighting further room for improvement. Meanwhile, we have adjusted our plans for the rest of the year to reflect the current uncertainty on the political stage.
Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)
The Alliance approached Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the RCGP, to explore ways in which we could cooperate to improve awareness and understanding of heart failure among GPs. Professor Lampard recently commented on the challenges GPs face in diagnosing the condition, and immediately responded to our correspondence. Members of the Alliance Steering Committee subsequently met with Dr Sarit Ghosh, a RCGP representative and Clinical lead for Cardiovascular Disease at Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group. A very positive meeting resulted in agreement to cooperate on several learning and communication initiatives.
Health Education England (HEE)
Following an approach to Health Education England earlier in the year, in May a meeting was held with Indranil Chakravorty, Deputy Dean, Health Education North Central and East London, and Professor Berne Ferry, Head of the National School for Healthcare Science, to discuss the implications of the NHS Long Term Plan on heart failure resourcing. As a result of this discussion, the British Society for Echocardiographers, the National School for Healthcare Science, and the Alliance for Heart Failure are developing proposals for solutions to echocardiography recruitment that will be presented to the HEE Board.
NICOR Heart Failure Audit 2019
In September, the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research (NICOR) published its 2019 Heart Failure Audit, which covers data from 2017-18. The Alliance issued a response, welcoming the rise in the number of patients being seen by heart failure specialists and the increase in prescription rates for key disease-modifying medicines. However, it was critical of the significant variation between centres, describing this inequality as “unfair on patients, who should expect the same high standard of treatment regardless of where they live.”
Alliance for Heart Failure social media and website
We continue to maintain the Alliance website with new information and content. Visitor numbers are steadily increasing each quarter, and are up 40% on the previous quarter, with a notable spike coinciding with the NICOR response. Notable visitors include NICE, national and devolved Government, and the Royal Colleges.
Meanwhile our social media following and engagement gathers momentum, with over 700 followers and 20,000 impressions in the last quarter from our @AllianceforHF Twitter account.
Heart Failure roundtable
As you may be aware, the Alliance is planning to stage a roundtable discussion in Westminster that will bring together key stakeholders for a discussion on the issues surrounding the delivery of heart failure services. Given the current level of political uncertainty, including a possible General Election in the offing, the event is being rescheduled for early 2020.
Fighting Failure campaign update
Likewise, while preparations have been underway for the launch of the Fighting Failure campaign (of which the Alliance for Heart Failure is an official campaign supporter), the current political climate means that political activity is also being postponed. The campaign, which has been funded by Novartis and created in collaboration with the British Society for Heart Failure, aims to raise awareness of disparities in heart failure diagnosis and specialist care across the UK with a view to improving patient outcomes.
British Society for Heart Failure (BSH) Annual Autumn meeting
The Alliance will again be attending the BSH Annual Autumn meeting at the QEII Centre in London on the 28th and 29th November, where the Secretariat team will be available to discuss activity and share the recommendations of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Heart Disease with heart failure professionals.
We hope this update is informative and useful. Please contact the Alliance for Heart Failure Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.
Prof Iain B Squire, Joel Rose – Co-chairs, Alliance for Heart Failure