HEART UK reports
Reports from HEART UK - The Cholesterol Charity
The recently established Lipoprotein(a) Taskforce (Lp(a) Taskforce) has published its first Call to Action report, encouraging greater recognition and acceptance of Lp(a) as an atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk factor.
Lp(a) is an independent, inherited, and causal risk factor for ASCVD, and therefore serves as a vital indicator of individual susceptibility to several related conditions, including myocardial infarctions, stroke, coronary heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, and heart failure.
Despite being a well-established risk factor for these conditions, Lp(a) is not routinely measured in clinical practice and lacks representation in appropriate UK clinical guidelines.
HEART UK working with Daiichi Sankyo UK Ltd have produced this report and related materials. The project was initiated and funded by Daiichi Sankyo UK Ltd.
This report brings together the existing evidence based on variations in cholesterol management and outcomes from across the four nations. While in some areas the data can be patchy, the report demonstrates the need for governments and health systems in all four nations to take a new approach to delivering cholesterol care that is both more joined-up and more equitable.
As the UK recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, we can ensure that cholesterol and familial hypercholesterolaemia remain a top health priority for the NHS and policymakers for the benefit of patients, now and in the future. This is vital if we are to succeed in meeting the NHS Long Term Plan ambition of preventing 150,000 strokes, heart attacks and dementia cases by 2029.
The report looks at lessons learned from the pandemic and makes specific recommendations for how cholesterol and CVD diagnosis and treatment can be improved in the UK. Key recommendations include:
- Ensure NHS Health Checks are offered to all those eligible to support primary prevention.
- Continue to raise public awareness of CVD risk factors, especially following the replacement of Public Health England.
- Manage CVD throughout the treatment pathway as a family of diseases in order to ensure co-ordinated and integrated patient care.
This report was produced for the Public Health England conference 2020 to give an overview of good practice and ways of working, following interviews and meetings conducted across the country.
The report covers policy directives and strategies at a national level, the impact and opportunities that come with NHS organisational restructuring, and the ever-growing role of care and health at the community level in delivering long-term health improvement outcomes.
The recommendations within this report are important calls to action for a wide variety of stakeholders, from those working at the highest levels of Government making decisions on NHS strategy, to those managing public health within local authorities.
HEART UK were invited by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care to submit a proposal to be included in the forthcoming Green Paper on Prevention. This paper has been developed following a cross-stakeholder roundtable discussion which included representatives from the third sector, professional organisations, NHS England, Public Health England and industry.
In 2014, HEART UK published ‘Systematically Identifying Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) in Primary Care’. The report showed how NHS Medway CCG more than doubled the number of people diagnosed with FH in the CCG by implementing two simple interventions.
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.