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Fifth report on the provision of services for patients with heart disease

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  • Services for cardiac patients are poorly provided in the UK.

  • This problem has been recognised recently by the Department of Health (particularly in England) and much has already been done to rectify it.

  • Despite this there remains much to do. The crucial areas that need to be addressed to secure the cardiovascular service that our patients deserve are as follows:

    1. Implementation of the National Service Framework (NSF): conditions not included in the NSF should receive the same degree of attention as coronary heart disease (CHD). The NSF should be implemented consistently throughout the entire UK.

    2. Patient involvement: In the past there has been very little patient involvement in the planning of cardiovascular services. Patients need to be brought into the process far more so that the service becomes truly patient centred.

    3. Staffing: There is a severe shortage of all types of properly trained health care professionals and support staff that are needed to provide a modern and effective cardiovascular service. Unless proper numbers of staff are recruited and retained it will remain impossible to deliver the level of care required by cardiac patients. It is crucial that all the factors that lead to the present staff shortages are addressed as soon as possible.

    4. Information technology (IT): Delivering modern care to cardiac patients is complex and the present level of IT must be improved if care is to be safe. Good IT is essential for education, training, medical records, telemedicine, and data collection. Furthermore IT is required for effective audit and reliable clinical governance.

    5. Reorganisation of working practices: This is already taking place and there are great opportunities to use staff more efficiently particularly by reviewing and revising their roles. This will improve the service for the patient.

    6. Maintaining standards and quality: Quality will only be maintained if levels of training …

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Supplementary materials

  • Fifth report on the provision of services for patients with heart disease

    Supplemental Article
    How many cath labs do we need?
    The population need for diagnostic cardiac catheterization & angiography, and pacemaker & defibrillator implantations, with the required laboratories
    David Hackett

    For the British Cardiac Society
    Guidelines and Medical Practice Committee

    [View PDF]

  • Heart Volume 88 Supplement III

    Publisher's Correction

    Please note that the name of one of the contributors, from whom major comments were received, is mispelt.
    The correct spelling is shown here:

    Petros Nihoyannopoulos, British Society of Echocardiography

    The error is much regretted, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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Linked Articles

  • Miscellanea
    BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and British Cardiovascular Society
  • Miscellanea
    BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and British Cardiovascular Society