Services case study: Community pharmacists and hospital teams working together to find and treat AF and prevent stroke

Published on: 19th September 2017 | Updated on: 28th July 2023

Care City, which is one of seven national Health and social care test beds funded by NHS England, is working with community pharmacies in North East London to trial detection of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) using a handheld mobile device which can spot AF in 30 seconds.

Patients who are identified as having an abnormal result receive a rapid referral to an AF clinic at a local hospital where they undergo minimally invasive diagnostic tests and meet an arrhythmia nurse to discuss the result, and if appropriate, receive treatment. The whole process takes 2-3 weeks, compared to a national average of 12 weeks at present.

Since the pilot was launched, nearly 700 patients have been screened for AF, and 7% of those were identified as having AF.

The pilot is a collaboration between Care City, North-East London Local Pharmaceutical Committee, Barts Health NHS Trust, Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group and Sonar Informatics.

Care City launched their new AF pathway at EXPO 2017. The pilot model finds people with undiagnosed AF in local pharmacies, reduces appointments and waiting times to treat them, and offers a cost-effective way to prevent 1,600 strokes per year across England.


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