Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the UK’s biggest killer – around one in five men and one in seven women die from the disease. CHD causes around 94,000 deaths in the UK each year.
Encouragingly, in the last 10 years there has been a 50% reduction in mortality from CHD. This is largely due to prompt care for patients when they’ve had a heart attack, with many more specialist centres and wider use of clot busting drugs. Prevention has also improved with a greater emphasis on prescribing drugs which lower cholesterol among those at risk.
Last week Alex met representatives from HEART UK, the country’s leading cholesterol charity, to find out more about heart disease services in Stockton North and the importance of improving post-event care for patients.
By getting the treatment and support given to patients after an event right, the NHS will not only improve the experience and outcomes for patients but also save money which could contribute to the £20 billion efficiency savings that the NHS must deliver between 2011 and 2014.
Alex said “I want to thank HEART UK for raising these important issues with me and showing me a picture of heart disease services in Stockton North. I am committed to working with the local NHS and in parliament to ensure that heart disease services are coordinated and delivering for the local population”.
Jules Payne, Chief Executive of HEART UK said, “I would like to thank Alex Cunningham for supporting the work of HEART UK in improving outcomes for people with heart disease. Coordination across the NHS, Public Health England and social care services is vital at both a national and local level to continue to deliver improved outcomes for heart disease and tackle the post-event care challenge.