Last week a report highlighting variations in the quality of care received by heart failure (HF) patients prompted heart specialists to warn of the risks this creates. Often these patients are elderly with multiple long term conditions. This can limit medication options and treatment is based around personalised care planning and access to support after discharge from hospital. Care delivered by HF specialist clinicians and teams in hospital and by nurses working across primary and secondary care is a major contributor to improved results for patients.
Improving the quality of care for people with HF is a priority of our Enhancing Quality programme, established in 2010 and now a central focus for service development in KSS AHSN.
Anticipating new guidance proposed by NICE, the EQ HF programme centres around optimal organisation of diagnostic testing, alongside specialist team input and treatment for HF patients in hospital. EQ makes data available for all participating hospitals in the region allowing the level of care to be compared and improved through collaborative learning.
The proposed guidance lends fresh emphasis to the importance of best care being provided consistently. It is complemented by the work of AHSN EQ programme, which is now addressing areas where improvement has, to date, been less marked. EQ is also working with the National Heart Failure Audit to ensure that comparative data regarding best care is consistently available for all people with heart failure across the region.
The internationally recognised EQ heart failure programme is unique in covering both hospital and community aspects of care. For heart failure the standard of care is measured through the delivery of four indicators, covering timeliness of diagnosis, the start of evidence based medication, delivery of an organised continuing plan of care (including follow up) agreed with the patient at the time of discharge and smoking cessation advice if appropriate. To date optimal care – measured as the delivery of all four care indicators to all admitted patients with a diagnosis of heart failure – has continued to improve across the region. However variation in the standard of care remains an issue and highlights the need for the sustained improvement.
EQ is helping to address this variation and ensure that everyone with HF in KSS hospitals is seen by a specialist HF practitioner to confirm diagnosis, ensure treatment with evidence based medication and provide discharge instructions.
Please get in touch if you’d like to know more.
Opportunity to participate in this major regional event on July 1. It’s aimed at senior clinicians and managers with a practical interest in information and how it’s linked to improving patient care. With speakers from the NHS, industry and academia, we aim to develop an information strategy across the region. The day will include a series of workshops to consider why and how we should be linking data in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
For further information and to register interest please email,
Gill Potts: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our partnership day on June 17 is an opportunity to meet with colleagues from across the patch and across the sectors in response to the challenge of avoidable emergency admissions. It’s also the chance to build the relationships needed to spread and adopt best practice at scale – meaning more patients benefiting faster from the best innovations.
The event is filling up, so please email Georgina Margetts if you’d like to attend.
[University of Surrey]
Developed in partnership with local NHS organisations and health and social care providers, this pioneering new programme aims to develop practitioners who can contribute to the quality, quantity and sustainability of health care research locally, nationally and internationally.
The second wave of the £500m Integrated Digital Care Fund, (formerly the Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards Technology Fund), has started.
Acute heart failure: guideline consultation
A clinical practice guideline on Acute Heart Failure is being developed for use in the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Improvement Science Fellowships – now open for application
The Health Foundation’s post-doctoral Improvement Science Fellowships are now open for application. The Fellowships will fund full salary for up to five individuals to develop original, applied research dedicated to improving healthcare in the UK together with tailored leadership development. Deadline: 12 noon Tuesday 1 July 2014.