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Gold Standard of Care

Tuesday 5th February 2019

On Wednesday the 23rd of January, Heart Valve Voice Chief Executive, Wil Woan was invited by NICE to share his insights and be a part of the development process for the 2019 NICE guidelines for heart valve disease. It was a brilliant opportunity to represent the patient voice amongst the esteemed group of clinicians and leading policy makers in attendance.

During discussions held on the 23rd of January, there was a reassuring message from the Chair Professor Philip Smith that all the views shared would be integral in the design of the new guideline. Everybody at Heart Valve Voice see these guidelines as an important step in tackling the inequalities in diagnosis and treatment for patients across the UK. We are looking forward to the coming months and helping to shape guidance that will ensure the right patient gets the right treatment at the right time.

This work with NICE aligns perfectly with the work that Heart Valve Voice has been doing to develop the optimal patient pathway. In 2016, Heart Valve Voice gathered together clinicians and patients from across the UK to produce a vision report titled ‘Towards a Heart Healthy Future: A 2020 Vision for Heart Valve Disease. This was in the response to the data showing that there was an under-treatment of valve disease in the UK, in comparison to other European countries. Following these findings, in 2018, we began collaborating with valve disease care specialists and patients from across the UK to produce a report that sets out the ideal process to achieve the perfect heart valve disease patient pathway. Our Gold Standard of Care guidelines will help to address the variations in the quality of heart valve disease services in the UK, improve patient outcomes, and will provide guidance for the NHS in delivering these services more efficiently. Heart Valve Voice now has the opportunity to use our Gold Standard report to help construct the new NICE guidelines with the patients’ voice at the centre of it all.

Olaf Wendler Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Professor of Cardiac Surgery at King's College London, congratulated Heart Valve Voice on bringing their unique patient perspective to the NICE guidelines conference. “It’s great to see the voice of the patients being included in the development of these important guidelines. Heart Valve Voice has ensured that these guidelines will focus on the patient experience and that positive changes in the care for heart valve disease will be seen in all of the stages of the patient pathway.”