The Cardiac Network
The Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) Collaborative was started as a national NHS funded programme designed to make improvements in the way CHD services are delivered to patients.
This evolved into the Heart Improvement Programme in 2005. Together with the Department of Health Heart Team, the organisations published Establishing and Developing Cardiac Networks, which offered guidance on and objectives for network development. Funding was then devolved to the emerging 32 cardiac networks, all of which focus on redesigning the system of care delivery, in line with the National Service Framework (NSF) for CHD. This framework, published in 2000, provided the blueprint and strategy to modernise CHD services over the next 10 years.
Role of the Cardiac Network
Since then, networks in the NHS have served to bring together patients, clinicians, carers, commissioners and others from organisations across primary, secondary and tertiary care in order to rapidly improve services for patients.
They can standardise quality assurance, audit and benchmarking as well as martial and organise resources for workforce development, service improvement, research and development.
Bringing key players together in a network can also improve the quality of local commissioning. Networks can become powerful advocates of where best to place resources to maximise the benefits for the patients that they serve.
Please click here for more information on cardiac conditions, prevention and treatment and to listen to our patients, clinicians, nurses and GPs discuss cardiovascular disease issues.
New Heart Clinic opens in Waltham Forest
A new heart clinic, which helps people susceptible to strokes, has opened in Walthamstow.
The centre, in Wood Street, is equipped to detect those who have the condition, known as atrial fibrillation - AF, and can treat patients before their condition leads to them having a stroke. This pilot project is sponsored and led by the network and is also jointly supported by NHS Waltham Forest.
Patients are referred to the unit, the first of its kind in the UK, by their own GP who can detect an irregular pulse during routine checks.
Specialist nurse, Suzanne Harris, has been a hospital heart rhythm specialist for 4 years and is now working in local GP practices to help doctors identify and treat patients with this potentially dangerous heart rhythm.
Suzanne said she was excited about helping patients before they become ill enough to need to go to hospital, "The most dangerous complication of AF is stroke and the risk of this can be significantly reduced with the correct treatment. The tragedy is, that many preventable strokes are occurring each year in the UK, and the main aim of this clinic is to help stop this from happening in Waltham Forest." If you would like any more information around AF please email Gulsen Gungor- AF project lead at the network, click here
Atrial Fibrillation - AF
AF is the commonest sustained heart rhythm problem affecting over 1% of the population and is more common the older we become. Please click here to read Dr Matthew Fay's article on how the drug Dabigatran can help this condition