Friday 20th November 2020
COVID-19 has placed an extraordinary strain on our lives, our communities and our NHS. Because of this pressure, thousands of patients have experienced delays to treatments. While we understand that tough decisions need to be made to ease the strain on our NHS, we have a simple message to our care centres - just treat us.
Heart valve disease is a serious but treatable condition. Delaying treatment now will lead to worse outcomes. With timely treatment, we can go back to good, even better, quality of life.
We don't want to be a burden on our NHS but without treatment we
…will be sicker
…will face more complicated surgeries
…will take longer to recover
…will be more of a burden on the NHS
We want to empower our clinicians to treat us. So, treat us now and treat more of us, because we trust in local measures to treat us safely. Once we are treated, we can get back to our normal lives and continue supporting our families, our communities and the economy.
We endorse Heart Valve Voice's Three-Point Plan for valve disease care during the second wave of COVID-19. Patients must go to the doctor if they experience symptoms of breathlessness, dizziness or fatigue, Primary Care must have the confidence to refer more of us, and NHS Care Centres must maximise treatment capacity.
Heart Valve Voice CEO, Wil Woan said "Simply put, we need to be treating more heart valve disease patients, not fewer. We cannot afford to see a reduction in heart valve disease treatments to anywhere near the level of April to August. The 1,635 patients who didn't receive their treatment through April to August are now in their optimal treatment window, but by April next year, they may be beyond that window. Delaying treatment now will lead to worse outcomes.”