Government advised to take a joined up approach to CVD

Community Pharmacy England has joined leading charities, medical and trade associations and AstraZeneca to urge the Government to take a joined up approach for improving cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes.

The shared vision, which was launched in Parliament on 14th November 2023, sets out a collective view for improving CVD outcomes.

The paper urges a holistic approach across CVD and other long-term conditions (CVD risk conditions), such as chronic kidney disease and diabetes, where people are at an elevated risk of CVD.

Across eight specific recommendations to the Government and the NHS, the organisations call for community engagement, tackling inequalities and better use of data and technology.

This consensus approach has been taken as the Government is currently developing its Major Conditions Strategy, motivated by the increasing impact of CVD and CVD risk on individuals, the NHS and wider society.

The paper highlights opportunities for greater use of community pharmacy in the prevention of CVD and CVD risk conditions, including:

  • The opportunity for both community pharmacy and general practice to work more closely on the screening, identification, diagnosis and treatment of CVD and CVD-risk conditions, particularly following the publication of the delivery plan for recovering primary care;
  • An opportunity for the NHS to support a wider range of healthcare staff in community pharmacy and general practice with training on CVD and CVD-risk conditions to make every contact count; and
  • A recommendation to ensure that services are delivered to patients in a range of settings to support ease of access, including maximising uptake of existing commissioned services and reducing variation in access. This includes a suggestion to local commissioners that they maximise the use of existing commissioned services, like the Hypertension Case-Finding Service, to ensure that the value of every patient contact is maximised.

The size of the challenge was outlined in the REAL Centre Health in 2040 report, which states that by 2040, the projected number of diagnosed cases of diabetes is expected to rise by 49%, with cases of heart failure and CKD predicted to increase by 92% and 34%, respectively.

Commenting on the paper, Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services at Community Pharmacy England said:

“The paper highlights an opportunity for Government, as part of the development of its Major Conditions Strategy, to consider further opportunities that could help drive greater improvements in the prevention of CVD and CVD risk factors.

“Alongside community pharmacy’s work on the Hypertension Case-Finding Service as part of the prevention of CVD, the Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund ‘A Vision for Community Pharmacy’ highlights that community pharmacy can play a larger role in the management of hypertension.

“Hypertension management will be included in some of the community pharmacy Independent Prescribing pathfinder programme sites that are currently being established – we see that as the starting point for the sector to get even more involved in tackling and treating CVD.”

Read the paper

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