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NHS celebrates 'significant' drop in heart failure fatalities

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Have you noticed improvements in care? Have you noticed improvements in heart failure care?

Hundreds of people are now surviving heart failure due to improvements in patient care, according to an independent study approved by NHS England.

The British Society for Heath Failure (BSHF) found that the mortality rate for people admitted to hospital with heart failure has dropped from 9.6% to 8.9%, meaning around 500 lives have been saved in the past year compared to 2014/15.

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In an assessment of patients admitted to hospital with heart failure at NHS Trusts, the BSHF found that more people are being provided with medicines for heart disease as well as gaining greater access to treatment by heart specialists.

National medical director for NHS England Bruce Keogh, National Medical Director at NHS England, said: ‘The NHS is helping more people to survive heart failure. This independent study shows that improvements to NHS heart failure services have had a significant positive impact for people suffering this devastating condition.

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‘Increasing numbers of patients are getting specialist help and the full range of treatments thanks to years of world-leading scientific and clinical research and the efforts of NHS staff.

‘It is a very significant problem and we recognise that there is scope for even more improvement but the progress highlighted today will be a spur for us to do even more to improve care and survival rates.’

Acute heart failure is a life threatening condition, which as well as immediate danger to life can have significant long-term consequences for people. Tackling heart failure is becoming a more significant challenge for the NHS due to the ageing population.

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BSHF’s work is the largest audit on heart failure ever, using data from 82% of all heart failure admissions in England and 77% of those in Wales.

It shows that the mortality rate for people treated for heart failure has decreased for inpatients and for thirty days and one year after treatment, 80% of patients reporting heart failure at hospitals in England and Wales were seen by specialists, and nine in 10 patients admitted to hospital received an echocardiogram, the key diagnostic test for heart failure.

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