Alliance for Heart Failure update – Winter 2020:
Welcome to the first Alliance for Heart Failure update of 2020 and our first as the new Co-Chairs of the group. We are both delighted to be taking on these important roles and continuing the excellent work of the Alliance over the next 24 months.
As we start a new calendar year, now is a good opportunity to recap on progress towards our objectives and to outline our priorities for the coming year.
- National Push
Since our last update, a date for the Westminster Heart Failure Roundtable has been confirmed: 18th March 2020. Sponsored by Steve McCabe MP, the roundtable will bring together clinicians, patients, and other key stakeholders for a discussion on the issues surrounding the delivery of heart failure services. Attendance is by invitation only, however if you are interested in participating, please contact the Secretariat by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, we are making positive progress with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), which has responded positively to our proposals for a joint awareness and education initiative. A more detailed overview of the campaign’s objectives and messages is currently being developed.
- 2020 plans
Objective: To continue to build on the positive engagement with national stakeholders (including the RCGP, Health Education England, Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme, NICE, and the National Audit Office) to support joint initiatives and influence regional NHS plans.
As well as ongoing discussions with the RCGP, we will continue to liaise with Health Education England and the National School of Healthcare Science on its pilot echocardiographer recruitment campaign and provide support as required. We will also continue our ongoing contact programme with other stakeholders and will provide a report from the roundtable event.
Meanwhile we will seek to raise the issues of unwarranted variation and heart failure patient readmissions in Parliament by approaching MPs with a view to them tabling Parliamentary Questions.
- Regional Plans
We are continuing to monitor the publication of the regional NHS 5 Year Plans by each Integrated Care System (ICS) / Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) to ensure that heart failure services are addressed. A letter and briefing on the variation in the access to heart failure services across the UK has been developed and is being deployed as we become aware of new plans. Among those that we have approached are Hampshire and Isle of Wight STP, which failed to mention heart failure within its consultation.
- 2020 plans
Objective: To ensure heart failure – and the recommendations in the All Party Parliamentary Group on Heart and Circulatory Diseases ‘Focus on Heart Failure’ report – are not overlooked in the regional NHS plans:
As it currently stands, approximately 60% of the ICS / STP plans published so far mention heart failure, which is encouraging, while a further 25% refer to cardiovascular disease. The remaining plans do not mention either. We will continue to monitor the situation and work with a regional network of heart failure specialists to target these areas that do not address heart failure sufficiently.
- The Heart Failure Community
The Alliance ensured delegates at November’s British Society for Heart Failure Annual Autumn meeting at the QEII Centre in London were kept up to date with the group’s work. A summary of our milestones and plans for 2020 was inserted into all delegates’ packs and was available on Alliance members’ stands. We also held our Annual General Meeting during the event on Friday 29th November. The full list of attendees follows:
- Joel Rose (Cardiomyopathy UK)
- Janine Beezer, UK Heart Failure Pharmacy Forum
- Lizelle Bernhardt, British Association for Nursing in Cardiovascular Care
- Richard Corder, Cardiovascular Care Partnership
- Sally Hinton, British Association for Cardiovascular Care and Prevention
- Angela Graves, Pumping Marvellous
- Jim Moore, British Society for Heart Failure
- Steve Richardson, Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK
- Hannah Waterhouse, Education for Health
- Jacqui Young, Roche Diagnostics Ltd
- 2020 plans
Objectives: To raise awareness of the Alliance and its objectives among heart failure professionals in order to build further grassroots support.
We will continue to engage with the heart failure community and support efforts to drive regional improvement. Furthermore, we will maintain awareness via the Alliance website, regular social media updates, and responses to key developments, such as new heart failure data.
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 2020. Thank you for your ongoing interest and support for the Alliance. If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact the Alliance Secretariat at email@example.com.
Louise Clayton, Richard Corder – Co-chairs, Alliance for Heart Failure