UCLPartners and the east London Clinical Effectiveness Group have been supporting the roll out of quality improvement programmes in North Central London to provide potentially lifesaving anticoagulation treatment for people living with Atrial Fibrillation (AF) – a common type of irregular heart rhythm that increases risk of a stroke. Anticoagulants are a blood-thinning medication to prevent clots that can more than halve the risk of having a stroke.
It is estimated that over 100,000 people living within the UCLPartners geography have Atrial Fibrillation. If left untreated, AF is responsible for approximately 1 in 5 strokes and can leave survivors with disabling consequences. Health and social care costs for every stroke equate to around £45,000 over five years.
In 2018/19 North Central London had one of the lowest levels in England for treating AF in England. To address this, as part of an NHSE Accelerator programme, pharmacist-led virtual clinics were implemented in general practice to review all the AF patients who were not prescribed anticoagulant therapy and identify those suitable for treatment. Following this intervention, the latest NHS Digital Quality and Outcome Framework data shows that the area is now the most improved in the country. An additional 1,742 people with AF are prescribed anticoagulants, bringing the total proportion of patients with AF now on anticoagulants in the area to 85.6%. Over the next five years, this improvement will help to prevent 225 strokes, potentially saving the NHS £4m in the costs of care.
Alpesh Patel, GP Partner White Lodge Medical Practice, said:
“Suffering a stroke can be such a debilitating illness physically and psychologically for patients and their families, and to be able to prevent even one person from having to endure these consequences is incredibly rewarding.”
UCLPartners will continue to work with healthcare services in north central London to reduce the risks of AF and other cardiovascular related diseases.
Read more about the work we are doing to prevent CVD.