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28 Sep

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP backs calls for better care of heart failure patients living in Poplar & Limehouse

September 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

New report reveals shortfall in care for heart failure patients and makes recommendations to transform lives and save NHS millions.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP attended an event in Westminster to show his support for the launch of a report which makes recommendations to improve the treatment and care of heart failure patients. This follows an inquiry prompted by Westminster’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heart Disease.

The inquiry received evidence from patients, health care professionals, and commissioners to identify ways to improve the outcomes and experiences for people with heart failure, their families and carers.

Heart Failure is a debilitating, distressing and life-limiting condition, which when untreated, has worse survival rates than some cancers. 564 heart failure patients are living in Poplar and Limehouse however there are likely to be many more undiagnosed cases. An ageing population and improved survival from heart attacks, mean that the prevalence of those living with heart failure is on the rise.

It is also an increasingly costly problem for the NHS, accounting for 2 per cent of the total NHS budget and one million patient bed days each year.

Ten recommendations were put forward in the report, including the availability of a simple blood test, costing under £28, to all hospitals and GPs in England to speed up diagnosis. Implementing the test in primary care in line with NICE guidelines could save the health service a predicted £3.8 million each year.

Calls were also made for all patients to receive specialist input to their care, as this means they are more likely to receive the right treatment and care, and is crucial in improving their outcomes and quality of life. The report also recommends better monitoring of the workforce who deals with heart failure patients to ensure that there is sufficient resource to meet demands.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar & Limehouse said:

“Heart failure can have a substantial impact on the quality of life of patients, and their families and carers – both physically and emotionally. However, we know that with the right treatment and care their outcomes and experience can be significantly improved.

“I am keen to see the recommendations in this report implemented as soon as possible to ensure that heart failure patients in [insert area] are receiving the best possible care.”

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said:

“Heart failure is a devastating condition which leaves sufferers constantly short of breath – unable to continue to do the work and activities they once enjoyed.

“Our research has helped to drastically improve heart attack survival rates, meaning 70% of people now survive. However many are left with irreversibly damaged hearts meaning a life sentence of living with debilitating heart failure.

“We urgently need to fund more research into heart failure to find new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat this cruel condition. But we must also improve quality of life for those currently suffering with this condition and we are keen to work with the Government and NHS to achieve this.”

To find out more about the report and its recommendations visit: www.bhf.org.uk/heartfailurereport

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