Heart Failure Awareness Day – Friday 5 May

To celebrate Heart Failure Awareness Day the King’s Health Partners Integrated Heart Failure Service team is hosting an awareness raising fair on 5 May at St Thomas’ Hospital, launching patient education videos and new guidelines across Southwark and Lambeth. heart failure awareness

As part of the event, the team will be hosting a live Twitter Q&A from 10-11am on the day, when they will answer questions from the public about heart failure.

Any questions can be sent in using the comment form before 4pm on Thursday 4 May, or can be tweeted live at @GSTTnhs.

In addition, the team will be holding a fair in the gardens of St Thomas' Hospital with the cardiovascular rehabilitation team, cardiology practice development nurses, the British Heart Foundation, our 3 Dimensions for Long Term Conditions (3DLC) plus many more. There will be stalls and activities with lots of information on happy, healthy hearts.

Why are we working to improve heart failure care?

900,000 people are estimated to be living with heart failure in the UK

11 days average length of stay for a heart Heart statsfailure admission

30-40% of people with heart disease are more likely to suffer from depression

30-40% of patients diagnosed with heart failure die within a year

Locally 9,000 people are estimated to be living with heart failure in Southwark and Lambeth but less than 3,000 are known to services, the estimated prevalence for Southwark and Lambeth is 1.5% of the population.

With early and accurate diagnosis, access to heart failure specialists, prescription of evidence-based therapies and coordinated care, we can significantly improve prognosis and quality of life.

Carys Barton, Lead Heart Failure Specialist Nurse, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, said:

It is vital that we raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of heart failure so that we can get more people diagnosed earlier. Once diagnosed it is important that patients get access to specialist care to ensure they receive the treatment they need to live well with their condition. For Heart Failure awareness day we are launching a series of patient education films as well as a new heart failure diagnosis and management pathway for use in general practice. We will be hosting education evenings for local GPs, practice nurses and community pharmacists. The team are also excited to launch new prescribing guidelines across south London shortly.

Our 3 Dimensions for Long-term Conditions (3DLC) team have been working closely with our Integrated Heart Failure Service over the past few months to provide psychological and social care support for heart failure patients. 

Lindsay Ip, Clinical Psychologist, 3DLC, said:

On heart failure awareness day it is crucial that we raise awareness about the importance of addressing mental health and wellbeing for people with heart failure and other long-term conditions. It is common for people diagnosed with heart failure to feel anxious or worried about their condition. We also know that about 30% of people living with heart failure have significant anxiety or depression and this can be challenging to manage. We are looking forward to talking to patients, and health and care professionals, about this on 5 May.

Access the patient education films

Local health and social care professionals and patients can access the films by emailing info@thesounddoctor.org with the name of your organisation, or if you’re a patient your GP practice, hospital or healthcare professionals name.

Please see our website for information and other useful links and resources.

Access the heart failure diagnosis and management pathway

For referrals information and guidance on diagnosing and managing heart failure please see our new Heart Failure Pathways for use in General Practice click on ‘education for GPs’.

Guy's and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust work in partnership to provide the Integrated Heart Failure Service in Southwark and Lambeth. The service provides specialist care in hospital and the community, as well as support for local GPs on heart failure diagnosis and management. To improve access to specialists each locality in Southwark and Lambeth now has their own dedicated heart failure team. To find out who works in your local area visit: http://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/our-services/community-heart-failure/team.aspx