9th January 2015

More healthcare staff follow Bradford`s Healthy Hearts` lead

9 January 2015

More local patients are set to benefit from a new health programme which aims to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack for people in risk groups.

The Bradford’s Healthy Hearts campaign team has held education events for GP practices, including practice nurses and community specialist nurses, to explain the programme in more detail so they can identify more patients who could benefit from it.


The more healthcare staff are aware of the programme - and how it can potentially save lives – the more they can help patients to live healthier and longer lives. Because heart disease is the major cause of death in Bradford, the campaign focuses on improving care for those who have, or are at risk of developing, cardiovascular disease (CVD).

All 41 GP practices in NHS Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are taking part in Bradford’s Healthy Hearts.  And, as part of the campaign, clinicians have now taken part in training to address the most up-to-date methods of preventing stroke for people with atrial fibrillation (AF) – a heart rhythm disorder.

People at risk of having a catastrophic stroke as a result of their AF are being invited by local doctors to have a treatment review. Local figures show that more than 40% of people with an irregular heartbeat could benefit from this latest drive to improve their treatment.

In this latest stage of the three-year campaign, GPs will screen patient records to identify people who have been diagnosed with AF and, where they are not currently being prescribed anticoagulants, are inviting them to the practice to undergo a treatment review.

In the first phase of the campaign, GPs also reviewed patients taking cholesterol-lowering statins to ensure that they were receiving the best care available to reduce their risk of a future stroke and heart attack.

The campaign has already received tremendous support from local practices and a series of education events are planned for the coming months to make sure as many front-line staff as possible are aware of how ‘at risk’ patients can be helped by this new approach.

Dr Youssef Beaini, clinical lead for cardiovascular disease at NHS Bradford Districts CCG, said: “The success of Bradford’s Healthy Hearts depends on practice staff being up to speed on the programme so they can make sure that every patient with heart disease benefits from a more detailed assessment and having their treatment adjusted, if appropriate.

“Our front-line practice staff are the ambassadors for change and play a crucial role. By following Bradford’s Healthy Hearts guidance and attending regular education events, staff are helping to reduce patients’ risk of stroke and heart attack – and ultimately save lives.”