Heart failure care improves, but survival rates similar

16th November 2015

There is still significant variation in heart failure survival, but improved prescribing rates for important treatments and more specialist care for patients has been identified in the new National Heart Failure Audit just released.

The document, which covers April 2013 to March 2014, presents the findings and recommendations based on patients in England and Wales with an unscheduled admission to hospital with a main diagnosis of heart failure.

It says that in comparison with the previous year, there has been a 25 per cent increase in data being submitted from hospitals and very similar in-hospital and one-year mortality for people admitted to hospital with acute heart failure.

It says the findings represent better adherence to medical guidelines, including those from NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

Differences in survival partly reflect the diversity of clinical care. Good clinical management by heart failure and cardiology specialists continue to result in patients doing better. The quality of care during the first hospital stay continues to produce noticeable survival benefits for several years.

The patient representative on the National Heart Failure Audit Steering Committee Richard Mindham, who has dilated cardiomyopathy, says: “Care is better as greater use is made of evidence-based treatments, as prescription of ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers and MRAs (mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists) becomes commonplace and as more people are having their care delivered by a specialist multi-disciplinary team.”

He added: “I want to see clinicians continue their drive for ever-improving heart failure care so that it compares with cancer treatment.”

  See the full document.