Heart Valve Voice Parliament Event July 5th
Thursday 28th July 2016
Heart Valve Voice welcomed over 40 MPs from all parties to have their heart checked with a stethoscope with the vast majority of the MPs also signing an Early Day Motion (a motion tabled by Members of Parliament that formally calls for debate).
Wil Woan, CEO of Heart Valve Voice said “Heart Valve Voice is working with MPs and policy makers to promote stethoscope checks and echocardiogram tests for heart valve disease. We hope to see these become incorporated as part of routine checks in the over 60s so that all suitable patients can be referred and have access to appropriate treatment at the right time.”
The check up event involved cardiac specialists including nurses from St Thomas’ Hospital listening to MPs' hearts using a stethoscope and also an echocardiogram, the first steps taken to detect heart valve disease. In surgeries, a doctor can listen for a characteristic heart murmur via a stethoscope, which is usually the first indication of a problem with the heart valves. This is often followed up with an echocardiogram test to confirm the diagnosis.
This disease affects a high proportion of the UK population, yet it’s worrying that there are such low levels of awareness and concern across the country. It’s hugely important that we continue to engage parliamentarians and policymakers to promote the use of the stethoscope and to work towards ensuring there is a clear and effective treatment pathway between primary care, secondary care and expert cardiac teams to ensure more effective management of the disease.
Shelley Rahman Haley, a Consultant Cardiologist at Royal Brompton Hospital and Heart Valve Voice Trustee said: “People with heart valve disease are not recognizing symptoms when they arise, or not receiving a quick heart check up when they visit their GP. There is significant under diagnosis as well as incorrect referrals due to a lack of education and awareness.”
For images of the event please click here. Below are some links to regional press coverage of the event:
Victoria Borwick (MP Kensington): Member of the Science and Technology Committee
Cat Smith (MP Lancaster and Fleetwood)
Jim Fitzpatrick (MP Poplar & Limehouse)
Stuart McDonals (MP Kirkintilloch East)