Pulse February 2019 issue - Page 31

Heart Valve Voice and the Gold Standard of Care Advertorial The month of February represents World Heart Month, four weeks dedicated to raising awareness of issues affecting the heart including heart valve disease. Heart valve disease is a little known disease but highly prevalent. Across the UK approximately 1.5 million people over the age of 65 are currently affected by heart valve disease and that number is only expected to grow as the number of people in this age bracket grows. The OxVALVE Study reported that the prevalence of heart valve disease will affect as many as 3.3 million people over 65 by 2056, representing a 122% increase. Sadly, many people with the condition go undiagnosed and access to effective treatment is variable across the UK. The chances of developing heart valve disease increases with age with estimates suggesting that by the age of 75, the chance of developing heart valve disease is over 13%. The NHS recently revealed their 10 Year Plan and it was great to see that a focus on heart valve disease has been in included. This announcement has come just ahead of the launch of our own Gold Standard of Care Report. Over the past year we have been collaborating with valve disease care specialists to produce a report that sets out the ideal process to achieve the perfect valve disease patient pathway. For patients with heart valve disease, a consistent patient pathway is key to ensuring that they receive the correct treatment at the right time. If heart valve disease is caught early enough then more severe complications such as heart attack or heart failure can be avoided. “We believe that the recommendations found in the NHS 10 Year Plan can really help to tackle the problem of under diagnosis and treatment and perfectly aligns with our Gold Standard of Care work” said Wil Woan, Chief Executive of Heart Valve Voice. “By delivering an optimal treatment pathway for heart valve disease, you ensure that patients can get back to their lives rather than increasing the burden on the NHS.” The Gold Standard of Care report will help to address the variations in the quality of heart valve disease services in the UK and improve patient outcomes, and will provide guidance for the NHS in delivering these services more efficiently. This includes recommendations at the primary care level. Diagnosis of valve disease often starts with primary care. Standardised stethoscope checks on anyone over the age of 60 are vital in ensuring that valve disease is caught early enough and are the first stage of the patient pathway. Our Gold Standard report and the NHS report identify protocols across all levels of the healthcare system to make sure that these patients are diagnosed early and reach the appropriate secondary care team for treatment. This in turn will provide patients with a better quality of life and reduce the long-term cost burden on the NHS. The more we listen, the more lives we save. /HeartValveVoice @HeartValveVoice w www.HeartValveVoice.com