Wil's Blog

Wil's Blog

Tuesday 14th January 2020

Happy new year!! I hope you all had a great festive period and a lovely new year. The festive period gave us an opportunity to reflect on the work we did last year, and our End of Year report really crystallises all that we were able to achieve.

However, now a new year and decade is upon us and it is time to look forward to 2020 and action the plans that we have put in place for The Year of the Patient. Here is our pledge for 2020..

We pledge to continue to fight for best practice and care for patients.

Our Gold Standard of Care is going to shape much of the work we do this year. It will help us to identify and showcase best practice in diagnosis, treatment and post treatment care. Ensuring optimisation of patient pathways in order to reduce the strain on services and guarantee best patient outcomes.

Our Gold Standard will strengthen our relationship with professional societies, emboldening the Gold Standard’s power and allowing us to collaborate with them to ensure patients and their stories continue to affect change in care guidelines.

We pledge to continue to work with patients, clinicians and policy makers to improve guidelines and pathways.

2020 will be the year where we implement recommendations from our Task Force from 2019. From the beginning of 2020 we will be looking at innovative ways to implement our Gold Standard, and make sure that we are working together to deliver guidelines which are built on a foundation of patient experience.

We pledge to improve detection and diagnosis of valve disease.

Community detection and raising awareness of prevalence will form a central part in our campaign work this year. I wrote before about access to echo and the different projects we want to be a part of in improving access. 2020 will mark the first year of our flu jab project, as well as digital stethoscope projects, diversifying where patients can access echo, as well as awareness campaigns which will promote the importance of increasing echo checks and improving access to them.

We pledge to raise awareness of valve disease at national, regional and local levels.

We have been working hard to develop national, regional and local campaigns which will bring patients, clinicians and industry leaders together to promote the work we do and strengthen our voice. From roundtables with clinicians to testing events at sporting events, we have curated a campaign schedule that we believe will help maximise our reach and improve the Heart Valve Voice community.

This year we will be asking everyone to walk a mile for valve disease, on the 20th of every month, and encouraging them to send us pictures and stories of where they walked their mile and who with. We want patients, clinicians, family members, industry leaders and anyone else you can rope in to walk one mile every month to raise awareness. This campaign will run across the whole year and by December we want to have walked from Lands End to John o’Groats as a collective.

As well as that we will see the return of of our EuroPCR Bike Ride and our brilliant Photography Competition. We’ll also be doing lots of patient walks and taking our Street Doctors up and down the country to raise awareness of valve disease. Our calendar is packed with events for our supporters to get involved in so look out for anything that you want to be a part of and get in touch.

We pledge to improve primary care awareness and education

2020 will see us continuing to improve awareness in primary care. We plan to hold a series of webinars to increase the reach of our educational materials to ensure that primary care networks are working towards our Gold Standard of Care guidelines.

Working with opinion leaders we will produce pointed articles which will target primary care providers and help to broaden the reach of our message and guidelines. We will target GP’s, community pharmacists and other primary services with our educational materials to improve access to echo and increase detection and diagnosis of heart valve disease.

We will increase the volume and channels of distribution of our educational materials to ensure that members of the public who present at primary care providers are educated with the signs and symptoms of heart valve disease - as well as the support Heart Valve Voice offers through the work that we do.

We pledge to empower our patients to affect change.

We commit to developing our Patient Action Group, who will work with us to communicate with NICE guideline hearings and help shape our response to any recommendations to maintain patient influence over policy and guideline changes.

2020 will also mark our first ever Patient Conference.. We are a patient centred charity, so this conference is a way to ensure that there is a space and platform for our patients to present to clinicians and industry leaders on what is important to them. We will provide a space, resources and speakers to deliver a conference rooted in patient experience.

We are committed to making 2020 the year of the patient and pledge to work tirelessly to continue to support our patients and do all that we can to improve their lives and the lives of future patients. Together, we will continue to shape the cardiovascular landscape through policy work, campaign work and awareness drives. 2020 is the year of the patient and Heart Valve Voice will continue to push the agenda with patients, for patients.