Croí is representing Ireland as part of a European alliance calling on national governments to make “demonstrable improvement” to reduce hospitalisations in heart failure and to address the “routine and tragic gaps” in the care of this serious but common heart condition. The call to action is, together with a landmark policy analysis of best practice and current performance, is made in a new heart failure handbook which will be launched (5 September 2018) at the European Parliament, Brussels.
Heart failure is currently Europe’s most common cause of unplanned hospital admissions for people over 65 – and the leading contributor to unplanned readmission’s1
Hospital admissions due to heart failure are projected to increase by 50% over the next 25 years alone.2 Although, the prognosis is often poor, the right care and support can allow people with heart failure to recover many years of life, and quality of life.
The handbook of multidisciplinary and integrated heart failure care, is being launched by the Heart Failure Policy Network (HFPN), with endorsement from 35 leading patient advocacy, scientific and professional organisations working in heart failure, CVD and healthcare management, and has been co-authored with patients and senior experts.
Currently one in five Europeans are expected to live with heart failure at some point in their lives. After discharge from hospital for an acute episode of heart failure, one in four people are readmitted within one month, and two in three are readmitted within one year.
The Handbook published by the Heart Failure Policy Network, highlights 10 key demands on governments to help ensure strategic readiness, and greater application of proven best practice models to improve patient outcomes, reduce and shorten hospital admissions, and extend years of life and quality of life. These include:
- Instigate formal strategy on heart failure – few countries in Europe have adequate strategies for the current and future burden of heart failure.
- Invest in sustainable, specialist heart failure care models –Heart failure programmes, clinics and support are not consistently available outside of hospital, and people with HF often do not have access to the right specialists.
- Ensure ongoing high-quality care – not all people with heart failure receive high-quality guideline-based care, especially after discharge from hospital.
- Measure and improve key aspects of heart failure care – There is very little known about how heart failure is treated across Europe which prevents service evaluation and improvement.
- Indirect costs and productivity losses from HF are substantial: In Ireland, the cost of informal care has been estimated at more than double that of direct healthcare costs (around €364 million, against €158 million direct healthcare costs).1
- Diagnosis is often not rapid or detailed enough: In Ireland, estimates of delays from first presentation to definitive diagnosis are to up to a year.2
- HF programmes and clinics are not consistently available: In Ireland, six HF clinics operate in Dublin and only five can be found across the rest of the country, causing regional variation in HF survival and rehospitalisation rates.3
- The full potential of all healthcare professionals is not realised: In Ireland, fewer than 1% of people living with HF are referred to cardiac rehabilitation services.1
- Heart failure affects 90,000 people in Ireland
- Responsible for 20,000 hospital admissions each year
- 10,000 new cases each year