Update from CVD leadership forum
Primary care is key to improving outcomes in CVD because primary care is where much prevention and most detection and management take place. Primary care is also a core part of the NHS Health Check pathway because people found to have high CVD risk, high blood pressure, CKD or ‘pre-diabetes’ need appropriate investigation and management and most of this is delivered in primary care.
Although we have a very effective primary care system we also know there is considerable room for improvement with substantial variation between practices in diagnosis and treatment rates that is not accounted for by population differences.
In response, a group of 27 GPs, nurses and pharmacists from across England has recently established the Primary Care CVD Leadership Forum. The aim of the group is to offer an authoritative primary care voice and to generate a constructive dialogue around early diagnosis and prevention. Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has also now established CVD as a clinical priority and has appointed a college lead for CVD. The shared priorities of the leadership forum and the RCGP programme are improved detection and management of hypertension, atrial fibrillation and CVD risk.
So far the forum has helped develop the CVD Intelligence packs and linked regional workshops, submitted consensus responses to NICE consultations on CVD risk, published an editorial on blood pressure and written to Pulse challenging an article suggesting the NHS Health Check should be abandoned. We are now developing key message documents to support improved detection and anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation.