Heart Valve Voice: speaking up for those with heart valve disease
Heart Valve Voice is a charity that aims to transform the diagnosis, treatment and management of heart valve disease by raising awareness of its severity, to make sure that patients are diagnosed early and treated, to have the best chance of returning to normal life. The charity was established in 2013 and is made up of a collection of people with real experiences of heart valve disease, including patients and a multi-disciplinary group of experts in the field (cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, GPs).
Heart valve disease is a condition caused by either wear, disease or damage to one or more of the heart’s valves, affecting the flow of blood through the heart, which can cause symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, dizziness and fainting. The chances of developing heart valve disease increase with age, and approximately one million people over the age of 65 across the UK are affected by the disease, with this figure expected to rise to 19 million by 2050.
Part of Heart Valve Voice’s mission is to improve outcomes for patients with this life-threatening disease. The charity engages in a wide range of activities, including parliamentary events, check-up partnerships with sports clubs and general public surveys to highlight the need for increased awareness and understanding of heart valve disease (and its most common form, aortic stenosis). In May this year, Heart Valve Voice partnered with Everton in the Community (EitC), to offer free heart valve disease check-ups for the over 60s at Everton FC, Goodison Park. Trained healthcare professionals used a hand-held, digital stethoscope to listen to the heart to detect heart murmurs, often the first indication of a problem with the heart valves. These murmurs or heart sounds were recorded, and will be used alongside music to play at fixtures and corporate events – forming the heartbeat of Everton FC.
Additionally, earlier this month the charity held a heart check-up event at the House of Commons, attended by 42 MPs from constituencies across the UK. Many of the MPs subsequently pledged their support in raising awareness of the disease, and seeking to improve diagnosis and treatment in their local communities. Heart Valve Voice is engaged in other policy activities, calling for an update to GP guidelines to extend consultation times for the over 65s with the aim of improving diagnosis. A 2020 Vision Report highlighting key recommendations is being developed and will also be launched in Parliament later this year to parliamentarians, policy leaders and NHS decision-makers, striving for equity of access to valve replacement.
Chris Young, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital, London and Chairman of Heart Valve Voice says: “The charity does such important work to represent heart valve disease patients across the whole spectrum, campaigning for improved awareness, diagnosis and treatment, and providing credible, independent and practical advice and information about the disease to patients and their families.”
For more information about the work that Heart Valve Voice does, please watch our video
For more information about heart valve disease, and to read patient stories, please visit www.heartvalvevoice.org.
Latest posts by Silversurfers Editor (see all)
- How would you solve the NHS crisis? - January 19, 2017
- Will Donald Trump ‘Make America Great Again’? - January 19, 2017
- Win 1 of 10 copies of the iconic Dairy Book of Home Cookery - January 18, 2017
- Is sleeping in separate beds the beginning of the end? - January 16, 2017
- Get back to doing the things you enjoy - January 16, 2017
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
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.
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!