The AHSN Network welcomes national ambitions published today to improve the detection and treatment of the three major causes of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including atrial fibrillation (AF).
CVD remains one of the biggest killers in England, with one in four people dying from it. It disproportionately affects people from the poorest communities, who are more likely to die prematurely compared to the most affluent.
To help the effort to save more lives from CVD, the first ever national ambitions have been published to improve the detection and treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF), high blood pressure and high cholesterol. These conditions are mostly symptomless. Many people do not know they have them, and even once they are diagnosed, they are poorly treated in England.
The new ambitions have been agreed by the CVD System Leadership Forum, which is made up of over 40 member organisations including the AHSN Network, government bodies, NHS England, the third sector, Royal Colleges, clinicians and academia. They include recommendations for decision makers and frontline professionals how to detect more people and treat them effectively.
The AHSN Network will play a key role in facilitating the spread and adoption of best practice for AF by: Increasing detection rates through the use of manual pulse checks and AF detection devices; Increasing the proportion of people with AF provided with the appropriate therapy and supporting those on therapy to optimise its use.
At present, 79% of people with AF have received a diagnosis at 84% of those are receiving therapy. The national ambition is to raise this to 85% and 90% respectively by 2029.
Helen Williams, AHSN Network National Clinical Advisor for AF said: “Atrial Fibrillation accounts for at least 20% of all strokes. Since the launch of the AF programme, the AHSN Network alongside NHS and social care partners have already delivered substantial improvements in AF care.
“These national ambitions will help to further stimulate action and collaboration across the system, providing an opportunity to make a difference to outcomes for patients with AF, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.