The AHSN Network Atrial Fibrillation (AF) programme and six regional AHSN partner AF projects have received AF Association Healthcare Pioneer awards for best practice in AF detection and treatment.

The AF Association is a UK charity that focuses on raising awareness of AF by providing information and support materials for patients and medical professionals involved in detecting, diagnosing and managing AF. Each year, the AF Association Healthcare Pioneer awards recognise those who demonstrate excellent clinical practice and the development of AF services to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.

AHSNs projects were amongst the 17 winners at the 2019 awards. Regional projects recognised included:

  • East Midlands AHSN, for work in partnership with East Midlands Clinical Network and 19 Clinical Commissioning Groups, preventing an estimated 167 strokes, 56 deaths, secure health and care cost efficiencies of £3.45million per year.
  • Health Innovation Manchester, for supporting NHS Tameside and Glossop CCG, facilitating pharmacy-led clinical reviews in 38 GP practices to detect and optimise treatment for those with AF.
  • Health Innovation Network, for supporting Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust to trial mobile ECG devices. These were used in in community clinics, domiciliary settings and at awareness events. Opportunistic testing was also conducted by community podiatrists.
  • Oxford AHSN, for working with Buckinghamshire CCG to improve therapy for a patient cohort with complex needs that had not been met by existing anticoagulation pathways.
  • UCLPartners, for work with South East Essex CCGs, issuing mobile ECG devices to 82% of practices across the CCGs, resulting in 23 new patients identified with possible AF and 431 additional patients receiving anticoagulation treatment.
  • Eastern AHSN, for work with The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn NHS Foundation Trust, providing mobile ECG devices which contributed to 49 patients newly diagnosed with AF and 44 patients started on anticoagulation therapy.

The overarching national AHSN programme was independently recognised for its achievements since it was established in 2016.  The programme has focused efforts across the entire AF pathway,  and has distributed 6,000 digital AF detection devices across the NHS , and is working to address variation in anticoagulation prescribing by  assisting CCGs to deliver a new model of care which utilises anticoagulation expertise to provide bespoke education and support to primary care prescribers.

The awards took place during the AF Association Global AF Aware Week Parliamentary Event, held within the Palace of Westminster.

Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and CEO of AF Association said: “AF Association Healthcare Pioneers Award, is presented to examples of truly innovative best practice covering identification, diagnosis, management, treatment and care of patients with atrial fibrillation, which we summarise as Detect, Protect, Correct and Perfect.  We share the published AF Association Healthcare Pioneers Report with clinicians, commissioners and policy makers across the globe asking them to use these case studies as a benchmark to drive improvement in processes and patient pathways for the diagnosis, treatment, and care of AF patients in their respective countries.”

Read the full AF Association Healthcare Pioneers report here.

Find out more about the AHSN Network AF programme here.