image

Heart Valve Voice calls for NICE heart valve disease guidelines

On Tuesday 1 November, UK charity Heart Valve Voice launched its report, ‘Towards a Heart Healthy Future: a 2020 Vision for Heart Valve Disease’ at a parliamentary event attended by 80 MPs, clinicians and patients across the country.

The report sets out recommendations to prioritise the development of NICE guidelines to ensure that people living with heart valve disease receive a timely diagnosis and have equal opportunity to access effective and appropriate treatment for the condition, regardless of where they live.

IMG_1671

The charity’s Patient Action Group also met for the first time to discuss the roll-out of several grassroots activities to raise awareness of the disease across the UK.

Heart valve disease is on the rise in the UK, with prevalence expected to more than double by 2056.i The condition is also under-diagnosed for several reasons; symptoms, such as shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness and chest pain, often resemble the natural ageing process, so may be missed by patients and GPs. In addition, a large proportion of over 60s say they are not regularly checked with a stethoscope during routine consultations (despite this being the easiest way to detect heart valve disease). ii

“My condition was missed and almost cost me my life. Much more needs to be done to ensure people living with heart valve disease receive a timely diagnosis via a simple stethoscope check from their doctor. As a charity, we are working hard with patients, doctors and policy makers to improve the quality and longevity of people’s lives. This would ensure patients have the best chance of being diagnosed early and receiving appropriate treatment no matter where they live in the UK,” commented Mike Higginbottom, Chair of Heart Valve Voice Patient Action Group and heart valve disease patient.

MR Photography_Heart Valve Voice PAG_01112016-132

The Charity’s Patient Action Group, chaired by trustee and patient, Mike Higginbottom

There are also persistent inequities in access to treatment across the UK, despite benefits for patients, the NHS and the wider economy of the optimal treatment of heart valve disease. Where a patient lives affects their treatment, so whilst some patients are able to access the best possible treatment for their condition, many others are missing out.iii

The charity’s report includes several recommendations to combat this growing issue, including: the introduction of targeted education and awareness-raising campaigns for GPs and the public, routine use of the stethoscope in over 65s, the development of NICE heart valve disease guidelines as a priority, improved access to echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart) for GPs and equal access to treatment for patients across the UK and compared to the rest of Europe.

“It is worrying that there are such discrepancies in the treatment of heart valve disease patients across the UK. This simply isn’t good enough – where you live shouldn’t have a bearing on the type of care you receive,” said Professor Bernard Prendergast, Consultant Cardiologist, Guys and St Thomas’. “As part of our 2020 Vision, we feel that NICE should prioritise the development of guidelines on the diagnosis, management and treatment of heart valve disease, ensuring consistent standards of care for patients everywhere.”

IMG_1623

Mr Chris Young, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Guys and St Thomas’ and patient, Pat Khan, conducting radio interviews in the studio

 

Please support our campaign by giving your voice

Follow us on Twitter @heartvalvevoice and like our Facebook page.

References

i d’Arcy JL, et al. Large-scale community echocardiographic screening reveals a major burden of undiagnosed valvular heart disease in older people: The OxVALVE Population Cohort Study. European Heart Journal; First published online: 26 June 2016 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehw229
ii Opinion Matters. Aortic valve stenosis – What do people know? A Heart Valve Disease Awareness Survey of over 8,800 people aged 60 or over. Survey carried out 28/09/2015 – 12/10/2015. Data on file. Survey funded by Edwards Lifesciences.
iii Opinion Matters. Aortic valve stenosis – What do people know? A Heart Valve Disease Awareness Survey of over 8,800 people aged 60 or over. Survey carried out 28/09/2015 – 12/10/2015. Data on file. Survey funded by Edwards Lifesciences.
ADVERTORIAL

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!