Resources & Reports 

HEART UK has produced a number of reports and resources through our campaigning work, designed to support our commitment to improving cholesterol awareness, reducing premature heart and improving patient care.

Data: Helping Us Beat Cholesterol

This report was developed by HEART UK following the removal of a number of CVD indicators from the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) after concerns were raised about how data relating to CVD and cholesterol is being collected. The report aims to look at current data collection practices and what barriers exist in utilising data in driving improvements in CVD patient management.

As part of the research undertaken for this report, HEART UK spoke to a series of experts on the importance of rigorous data collection, management and analysis. Freedom of Information (FOI) submissions were sent to CCGs to investigate their data reporting requirements and habits in the absence of QOF, as well as Health Check data management. In addition, HEART UK conducted a survey of GPs to gauge how the QOF changes might impact their practice in relation to cholesterol.

- Read more here

A Manifesto for Better Health

Launched in December 2014, HEART UK's Manifesto outlines a series of key recommendations for the next Government which we feel are essential for improving patient outcomes for cardiovascular disease. 
These include:

  • Committing to see through the implementation of the CVD Outcomes Strategy.
  • Incentivising and supporting better management of CVD at a local level.
  • Familial Hypercholesterolaemia under NHS England with ring-fenced funding.
  • Implementing robust data collection and supporting access to quality data.
     

We will be meeting parliamentarians to stress the importance of these and keep the profile of CVD high on the political agenda in advance of the General Election. 

HEART UK FH Medway Report 2014

Launched in October 2014, HEART UK’s FH Medway report is an audit of how FH can be identified through GP surgeries. Medway Clinical Commissioning Group created a trigger for their GP practice systems in 2011. The trigger sat on the system and when a patient presented at an appointment, the trigger would appear to inform the GP that FH should be considered. This identified a number of new cases that had not previously been considered, and produced a modest improvement in identification. However, in 2014 HEART UK put in a dedicated nurse into GP practices to review the possible cases and to work with the practice nurse. This resulted in the unscreened numbers greatly reducing and therefore many more people being identified and able to be treated. Thus saving families and saving lives. 

Read the report here.

Cholesterol: A forgotten public health issue? 

Launched in April 2014, this report 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 cardiovascular disease (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. The report is being widely distributed in England to HWBs, public health officials and other key organisations.

Read the report here.

Bridging the gaps: Tackling inequalities in cardiovascular disease

HEART UK released this report in March 2013. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the conditions most strongly associated with health inequalities - the burden of mortality and morbidity from CVD is disproportionately shouldered by groups with the lowest socio-economic status. While deaths from CVD have declined overall in the UK, there appears to have been no narrowing in the relative difference between the most deprived and the least deprived socio-economic groups. Bridging the gaps examines the latest research on health inequalities in CVD - exploring recent trends and initiatives to reduce the gaps in health outcomes, while adding views on inequalities from specialists in public health. Focusing on England, the report includes nine key recommendations to help reduce CVD inequalities.

Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy

The Government published its Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy in March 2013. The Strategy prioritises means to better address CVD. HEART UK played a major part in influencing the Strategy, which includes support for quality implementation of the NHS Health Checks programme and an aspiration to diagnose and treat 50% of cases of familial hypercholesterolaemia in England. In the lead up to its publication, HEART UK developed a manifesto, highlighting HEART UK’s key recommendations and guiding principles for the Strategy. HEART UK participated in the joint All Party Parliamentary Groups (on heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and stroke) inquiry, Tackling Cardiovascular Diseases: Priorities for the Outcomes Strategy and submitted its formal CVD Outcomes Strategy response to the Department's of Health's consultation.

Cholesterol and a Healthier Nation Report

On 13 December 2011, HEART UK released this new report in Westminster. The report considers cholesterol in the context of the NHS Health Checks. The report examines data from Freedom of Information requests sent to PCTs in England, and shows that rollout of Health Checks continues to be patchy. However, it is encouraging that a number of PCTs are working towards increasing the numbers of people offered a health check. There are also some innovative prevention programmes currently taking place, showcased in the document. The report includes eight key recommendations to help improve rollout of the Health Checks programme in England. HEART UK distributed the report widely, and engaged in a programme of meetings to ensure that its messages were conveyed to key opinion leaders and commissioners. 

FH Report: Saving Lives, Saving Families, The health, social and economic advantages of detecting and treating FH

On 22 February 2012, HEART UK launched this report, which includes new economic modelling that demonstrates the health and cost savings that can be made through improved identification and treatment of FH. The report also makes recommendations towards developing an England national programme to help make this happen.

FH Toolkit

HEART UK believes that regional and local support is required to ensure effective implementation of the NICE FH Guideline. Clarity regarding the commissioning pathway for this guideline and the optimal care pathway for those identified at risk is required. For this reason, in 2010 HEART UK launched its FH Toolkit. The Toolkit is aimed at commissioners and clinicians, with a suite of materials designed to aid implementation of the guideline.

Your statin

Some people can benefit from medication to help lower their cholesterol. In some instances, this can lead to negative side effects. HEART UK worked in conjunction with AstraZeneca to create Your Statin, a website providing information for people being prescribed statin medication.

My Statin Status

My Statin Status is the follow-up to Your Statin and was also developed by AstraZeneca in conjunction with HEART UK. While a large proportion of patients on a statin will not experience any side effects, it is not uncommon that some patients may have some ill-effects from their medication. My Statin Status is a tool designed to help patients make a record of any side effects they may experience and to empower them to discuss these with their healthcare professional if desired.

Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) series in the Primary Care Cardiovascular Journal (PCCJ)

In 2013-2014, HEART UK is producing a series of four articles on FH for the PCCJ. The articles have been published and are available on the PCCJ website.

Dr David Milne, It’s not just a high cholesterol level, it can be an indicator of genetic disorder

Dr Dermot Neely, The importance of early diagnosis: how to identify patients with FH for diagnosis and referral

Professor Gilbert Thompson and Dr Mary Seed: The management of familial hypercholesterolaemia

Drs Atul Kalhan, Vinay Eligar, Alan Rees:Why do we need new options for managing FH?

Dr Milne also presented on FH at the PCCJ conference in 2013. See this video of David discussing FH and its importance as a health issue.

JBS3

HEART UK is a contributing member of the Joint British Societies for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). On this site you can access the JBS3 Risk Calculator and download the JBS3 report, with its recommendations for improving the prevention of CVD.

After the event – cardiac rehabilitation report

HEART UK has partnered with the agency MHP Health Mandate and Roche to develop a new cardiac rehabilitation report, After the event: getting care right for patients after a heart attack. The study, which was launched in January 2012, found that some 2,100 patients across England are not being offered cardiac rehabilitation, despite the clear benefits of the service in improving patient experience and outcomes from the disease. Although some 95% of patients are offered cardiac rehabilitation after a heart attack, the report uncovers enormous regional variations in the percentage of patients who take up invitations for rehabilitation. The report makes 20 recommendations for how to improve the care and outcomes for patients who have had a heart attack.

The Big Question: The Future of Acute Coronary Syndrome Patient Outcomes Report
This report is the result of a collaboration between HEART UK, AstraZeneca, AntiCoagulation Europe, and the British Association for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention & Rehabilitation. Launched in March 2011, the report highlights opportunities to improve the care of acute coronary syndrome patients.