The All Party Parliamentary Group on Heart and Circulatory Diseases (APPG) brings together a cross-party group of MPs and peers with an interest in the subject. It was inaugurated in 2015, and is currently chaired by Henry Smith MP.
The APPG’s purposes are:
- to inform and educate parliamentarians about heart and circulatory disease, and issues concerning cardiac and vascular death
- to encourage and promote work undertaken to prevent heart disease and improve its diagnosis and treatment
APPG Inquiry: Living with Heart Failure
The APPG established its inquiry into Living with Heart Failure early in 2016. The Inquiry accepted written evidence up to April, and then conducted a series of Evidence Panels over the summer for verbal submissions. An interim report was published in August 2016, and the final report with full recommendations was published on 13th September 2016.
Role of Alliance for Heart Failure
The Alliance for Heart Failure made an extensive contribution to the Inquiry and its report.
Throughout the process, the Inquiry was advised by an Advisory Panel. Several Alliance members were co-opted onto the Panel, which was made up of representatives from key organisations and areas with expertise in heart disease. The Panel’s role was to advise the Inquiry Steering Group across the duration of the Inquiry on key issues such as scope, what evidence should be sought, and from whom, and the content and recommendations of the report.
Alliance members on the Panel were:
- Prof Andrew Clark, Chair of Clinical Cardiology and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist, Castle Hill Hospital, Hull, and Chair of the British Society for Heart Failure
- Richard Corder, patient representative at Cardiovascular Care Partnership
- Prof Martin Cowie, Professor of Cardiology (Health Services Research) at Imperial College and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust
- Angela Graves, Clinical Lead, Pumping Marvellous Foundation
- Keith Pearce, Consultant Cardiac Physiologist, University Hospital South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, and Vice President of the British Society of Echocardiography
- Joel Rose, Chief Executive, Cardiomyopathy UK
The Alliance for Heart Failure will continue to work to raise the profile of heart failure with Government, the NHS and media. In particular, we will work to ensure that the following key actions are carried out:
- We have called on the NHS, Health Education England, Clinical Commissioning Groups, and NHS Improvement to work together and adopt the APPG Inquiry report’s recommendations without exception, and so introduce, implement and roll-out best practice across the whole NHS for all people living with heart failure.
- We have called for an audit of the NHS workforce to assess the gap between demand and supply of echocardiographers, Heart Failure Specialist Nurses and other specialists, so that the NHS across the UK can offer consistent and integrated treatment by a multidisciplinary team (MDT) to all heart failure patients in hospitals and in the community. NICE guidelines recommend that heart failure care should be delivered by an MDT with an integrated approach across the healthcare community (CG 108 and CG187). This audit would be a definitive step to ensuring that the wider needs of all patients with heart failure are addressed and outcomes improved.
- We have called for an investigation by the National Audit Office into the provision of heart failure services and how they can be improved for patients.
To keep up-to-date with what the Alliance is doing and for updates on these issues, see News and Events.
Alliance submission to Inquiry
Individual Alliance for Heart Failure member organisations submitted their own responses to calls for evidence from the Inquiry, and the Alliance submitted a joint written response to the interim report.