17 November 2020
A recent British Heart Foundation study has found that between March and October there were over 5000 excess deaths from heart problems in the UK. These numbers are of great concern, and it is essential that we limit the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 on the care of patients with heart valve disease. This means that: patients must know that they should go to the doctor if they are experiencing symptoms of breathlessness, dizziness or fatigue; primary care must refer patients in a timely manner; and secondary care must maximise treatment capacity.
20 October 2020
In May this year, Heart Valve Voice conducted a survey of Valve Clinics in the UK to understand the impact of COVID-19 on their services and see how they adapted their practices to mitigate the rise in hospital admissions and reduction in treatment. Now, as we see infection rates and COVID-19 hospital admissions rise across the UK, we must learn from the past and limit the impact of the second wave on the NHS and valve disease patients.
14 September 2020
Today marks the start of Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week 2020. Day 1 has seen the release of Global Heart Hub's European Heart Health Survey. While in the UK Heart Valve Voice and our patient advocates have taken to the TV and Radio to promote the signs and symptoms of heart valve disease - and encourage over 65s to ask their GP for a stethoscope check.
08 September 2020
Next week is Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week, a week where patient organisations from around the world come together to raise awareness of the disease. This year, Awareness Week is focussed on #ListenToYourHeart, and we will be urging everyone to ask their doctor for a stethoscope check, the first step in diagnosing heart valve disease.
12 August 2020
Last month I had a discussion with Professor Simon Ray about how COVID-19 had led to digital innovation in patient pathways. Part of that discussion was around the dramatic reduction of in-person appointments in favour of virtual appointments. We spoke about what best practice in this new style of appointment looks like, and the importance of recreating the comfort and confidence patients get in-person services in this new style of appointment.
15 July 2020
Last week I spoke with Professor Simon Ray, President of British Cardiovascular Society, about changes to appointments, clinics and MDT’s. In our discussion, we looked at how digital innovation has been used to limit in-person services in favour of virtual clinics. Now, the reasoning for this move may be COVID-19, but as we move forward, it is clear that these changes will remain. Patient experience must be at the centre of this new practice, and we recreate the same sense of comfort patients receive from meeting their clinical team in person.