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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-20775: David Stewart (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 20 December 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what progress has been made in implementing the recommendations of the (a) Better Heart Disease and Stroke Action Plan and (b) Heart Disease Improvement Plan.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 17 January 2019

Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease is a national clinical priority for Scotland, as outlined in the Better Heart Disease and Stroke Care Action Plan, published in 2009 and subsequently in the Heart Disease Improvement Plan of 2014, which has been the cornerstone of the work of the National Advisory Committee on Heart Disease. Progress has been achieved in all the priority areas.

Some of the key achievements in the six identified priority areas of the Plan are as follows:

i. Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

Work completed with NHS Inform for public education and work is continuing to improve management of Familial Hypercholesterolemia in Scotland. The committee has contributed to the Cross Party Group on High Blood Pressure with a view to improving identification and treatment.

ii. Mental Health for Heart Disease

Training modules have been devised to allow Advance Nurse Practitioners and Heart Failure Nurses to develop skills necessary for psychological support in heart disease.

iii. Secondary and Tertiary Care Cardiology

Scotland has now formally contracted to be part of the UK National Cardiac Audit Programme supporting a quality improvement approach to data collection. This will allow Dcottish data on performance in secondary and tertiary care to be audited and benchmarked.

iv. Heart Disease Management and Rehabilitation

The appointment of a Clinical Champion for Cardiac Rehabilitation saw major improvements in working towards a vision of cardiac rehabilitation involving tailored care for a range of cardiac conditions.

v. Heart Failure

The introduction of a blood test to exclude heart failure has now been introduced in almost all Boards in Scotland, which has led to more efficient pathways for the diagnosis of patients with heart failure. Education about and access to Palliative Care for patients with heart failure has now been provided to Boards across Scotland.

vi. Arrhythmias

The NACHD has piloted the use of smartphones in detection of Atrial Fibrillation, one of the most common heart rhythm problems and has contributed to and promoted national guidance of anticolagulent therapy in Boards to improve uptake but also to potentially make savings in prescribing budgets.

The number of new cases of coronary heart disease has decreased by 27% between 2007 and 2017. The mortality rate has also decreased by 40% in the last 10 years.