Foreword by Dr Matt Kearney, National Clinical Advisor, Public Health England and NHS England
A key role for the NHS Health Check is to identify people with undiagnosed physiological risk factors such as hypertension, atrial fibrillation (AF), chronic kidney disease and high risk of diabetes. Once diagnosed, follow up in primary care is essential to ensure that people undergo further investigation and receive appropriate treatment to minimise their risk.
The Primary Care Cardiovascular disease (CVD) Leadership Forum, a group of 30 GPs, nurses and pharmacists, has just launched the atrial fibrillation intelligence packs 'AF: how can we do better?'. These were developed in partnership with the Stroke Association, the Royal College of GPs, Royal College of Physicians and the National Cardiovascular Intelligence Network at Public Health England. The packs, one for every Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in England, include a page of infographics together with key messages developed by clinicians in the forum. The messages articulate 'what we need to know' in AF and highlight what practices and CCGs can do to improve detection and stroke prevention.
The forum is now working on a blood pressure intelligence pack which will use the same format to articulate key messages around hypertension.
The larger CVD intelligence packs that were published early in 2015 are now being refreshed with the updated Quality Outcome Framework data. These packs are being used in a series of regional workshops organised by NHS England and the Strategic Clinical Networks – the workshops support teams from CCGs to identify priority clinical areas in CVD and to draft an action plan for improvement, with support for primary care leadership being central to the action plan.