Cholesterol: A forgotten public health issue?
Assessed Health and Wellbeing Boards' knowledge and use of our recommendations in Cholesterol: A forgotten public health issue? Launched in April 2014, Cholesterol: A forgotten public health issue? is HEART UK's assessment of Health & Wellbeing Strategies in London. The report found that, while a number of Health & Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) are considering CVD and cholesterol in their Joint Strategic Needs Assessments, this is often not the case in Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies. Cholesterol is often overlooked and remains a 'Cinderella' risk factor for CVD in these important public health initiatives. HEART UK makes a total of 11 recommendations to HWBs and policy makers to help address this.
HEART UK established a network of Clinical Champions - a group of clinicians who are working with the charity to campaign locally on cholesterol, familial hypercholesterolaemia, and heart disease. HEART UK developed a map of Clinical Champions in England, showing names and locations.
Cardio & Vascular Coalition (CVC)
HEART UK is a member of the Cardio & Vascular Coalition, an alliance of charities that lobbies for improved cardiac and vascular health. In 2009, the CVC published Destination 2020, a third sector vision for the prevention, detection and management of cardiovascular disease. This report was influential on the Department of Health's Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
HEART UK endorses a number of the policy positions and campaigns of ASH, a public health charity that seeks to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco.
The Responsibility Deal is a Government partnership initiative aimed at improving aspects of public health through fulfilment of a variety of pledges. HEART UK has signed up to one of the Physical Activity pledges (P2) – to contribute to the communication and promotion of the Chief Medical Officers’ revised physical activity guidelines. These UK-wide guidelines cover early years; children and young people; adults; and older adults.
HEART UK developed Calls to Action with recommendations to drive forward implementation of the CVD Outcomes Strategy. Key issues include advocacy for greater public understanding of cholesterol and heart disease; a national FH programme; quality improvements in the rollout of NHS Health Checks; and the need to better understand (and act on) gaps in risk factors between different geographic and ethnic/social groups.
The charity developed influential publications, educational materials and resources, including:
- Resources for children and families with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH)
- A new online training programme in lipid management in conjunction with the Royal College of General Practitioners and Sanofi (to be launched October 2014)
- An Apheresis Toolkit, covering all matters apheresis, for use by patients, clinicians and commissioners
- Four new articles on FH aimed at primary care, published in the Primary Care Cardiovascular Journal
- The FH in Primary Care Project in conjunction with Medway and Sanofi. The interim report was published at HEART UK conference in July 2014, with the final report due later in 2014
- HEART UK is also involved in special projects, such as the FH children’s registry.