Ten recommendations to improve heart failure care

22nd September 2016

Ten recommendations to improve heart failure care and improve patients’ lives have been put forward by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Heart Failure.

The group launched their recommendations after listening to an advisory panel, which included  Cardiomyopathy UK’s chief executive Joel Rose and affected supporter Richard Corder, representing the Cardiovascular Care Partnership.

The cross-party group, which launched its Focus on Heart Failure document last week, called for

  • Specialist heart teams to improve awareness, knowledge and understanding of the condition in general medicine, including GP services
  • Special tests (NT-proBNP) should be used in all areas of the country to help diagnose heart failure
  • Urgent action should be taken to ensure there are sufficient echocardiography services to meet demand
  • Doctors should ensure that when patients are diagnosed they are given information about heart failure, how it may impact on their lives and how they can help manage this. They should also be provided with a single point of contact to answer their questions and concerns
  • All patients admitted to hospital should receive early specialist input into their care, including follow up from multidisciplinary teams
  • A picture should be drawn up of the number, location and qualifications of heart failure specialist nurses and other cardiac nurses treating people with heart failure and plans urgently developed to ensure there are sufficient staff to meet demand
  • Heart failure services with multidisciplinary teams and heart failure specialist nurses should be providing an integrated approach to care across the country
  • Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation programmes suitable for people with heart failure should be available to people across the country, and more patients should be referred to them
  • All medical staff caring for heart failure patients should receive training in advanced communications skills to help patients at the end of their lives
  • Such heart failure patients should be able to make informed personalised decisions about their futures using advanced care planning                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Read the APPG on heart failure final report and see here for news of the launch event