It is likely that with prompter diagnoses and better monitoring, hospital admissions for heart failure will decrease – and costs too
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There are now almost a million people in the UK living with heart failure and 200,000 new cases identified every year. Yet those working in the field fear a lack of awareness of the condition – from both the general population and healthcare professionals – is leading to sub-optimal care and unnecessary costs to the system.
The problem is not a lack of treatment options, nor the absence of an appropriate diagnostic pathway. Both have existed for many years. Instead the challenge is ensuring the pathway is followed, patients regularly monitored, and treatments adjusted as necessary.
Surmounting that challenge is likely to involve supporting GPs and the public to recognise the symptoms of the condition, and take prompt action when they emerge. But it will also need to involve commissioners understanding the scale of the issue in their local areas, and ensuring services match need. In areas that have made progress, cross-sector working has been vital.
At present, heart failure costs the NHS £2bn a year. But it is likely that with prompter diagnoses and better monitoring, hospital admissions for the condition will decrease – and costs too.
This article has been initiated and funded by Novartis UK. HSJ has retained editorial control with Novartis providing review for technical accuracy and compliance purposes only.
Job number: CVM19-E022
Date of preparation: January 2020