Welcome to the Alliance for Heart Failure’s second update of 2023. We have a number of important developments to bring you from a busy first half of the year. Please read this update carefully as there may be opportunities for you to get involved.

Meeting with NHS England

In March, the Alliance met with Professor Nick Linker, National Clinical Director for Heart Disease, and Professor Simon Ray, Joint Cardiology Clinical Lead at GIRFT, as well as members of the NHS England Clinical Policy team. NHSE is currently working on targeted funding to improve access to specialist care for patients admitted to hospital for breathlessness. Expressions of interest for this funding are being invited via the Cardiac Networks. Topics of discussion also included the status of virtual wards, the new breathlessness pathway, and the National Rehabilitation Development Programme.

Community Pharmacists

With the Government’s new framework and funding to help pharmacies work towards the NHS Long Term Plan, we are working with Education for Health to create educational content for community pharmacists on diagnosing, monitoring and prescribing for heart failure. This will be circulated through Local Pharmacy Committees (LPNs).

British Geriatric Society

An initial meeting was held in April with Dr Shabaz Roshan, Chair of the BGS Cardiology special interest group. There was interest expressed in the Alliance providing ideas for its 2024 conference, with the group asked for case studies on the work of multi disciplinary team working. We are also exploring the idea of educational materials disseminated through their newsletter, magazine and website.

Regional outreach

The Alliance had a productive meeting with the heart failure community lead in Bassetlaw, who reported pressure on services with a rise in more complex heart cases and a lack of local support.

The Alliance was able to guide them towards sources of funding through the relevant Cardiac Network focusing on achieving the two week follow up target, as well as provide an overview of support. The Alliance will continue to engage with regions where heart failure services are under pressure.

King’s Fund partnership

The Alliance is supporting a King’s Fund event on accelerating progress on cardiovascular disease. The event explores a number of issues including how integrated care systems and cardiac networks can work effectively with health and care organisations to focus on prevention, early diagnosis, and secondary prevention. It also considers the link between CVD and health inequalities and how we can support prevention in ethnically diverse communities.

Major Conditions Consultation – Alliance submission

The Government has launched its Major Conditions Strategy consultation, with a specific call for evidence on how best to prevent, diagnose and treat cardiovascular diseases. The Alliance is developing a joint submission reflecting our members’ key areas of interest.

If you would like to support these, or any other Alliance initiatives, please don’t hesitate to contact us.