Cheshire and Merseyside is one of the areas in the country with the highest prevalence of cardiovascular conditions, causing more than a quarter of all deaths in our area and placing considerable strain on our health and care services.
Our Partnership aims to improve the cardiovascular health of our population by focusing on prevention of heart disease and ensuring that wherever you live you can access the best possible treatment quickly and easily.
The CVD programme for Cheshire & Merseyside will target those challenges through eight areas of work.
There are thousands of people in Cheshire and Merseyside who have undiagnosed high blood pressure or heart conditions, both usually symptomless conditions that substantially increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. We want to increase access to blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm and cholesterol testing in the workplace, and using the wider local authority and third sector workforce to carry out health checks in local communities. We want to give community pharmacies an important role in supporting these activities for prevention of heart disease and stroke.
If you’ve suffered a heart attack, we want to ensure that, wherever you live, you will be able to access high quality rehabilitation services either at home or close to home. The benefits of physical exercise are well known and particularly so in the recovery from a heart attack.
For those patients at risk of heart failure, we want to make sure that we can monitor these conditions remotely and provide rapid access to treatment if necessary to enable people to live as normal a life as possible, providing local services in community venues.
We also want to make sure that all patient records and test results are easily accessible for clinicians to speed up treatment.
For patients with chest pains, we want to be able to provide access to treatment 24 hours a day, seven days week. For heart attack patients we want to improve our service of providing pacemakers.
Finally, we would like to provide stroke services that are efficient and consistent across our area; if a stroke happens we want to see patients having access to quality treatment wherever they are and access to post-discharge services to improve recovery of patients following stroke and reduce mortality rates.
People with a serious mental illness are 2-3 times more likely to die of heart disease and twice as likely to die of stroke than people without mental health illness. People with long term conditions suffer more complications when they also develop mental health problems, increasing the cost of care by an average of 45%. Working with our colleagues from mental health trusts in Cheshire and Merseyside, we want to ensure all services have a mental health element.
The lead for this programme is Jane Tomkinson, CEO of Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.