Heart failure needs specialist care

9 May 2014        

Hospital doors

We've found half of heart failure patients aren't admitted to a specialist cardiology ward, and are suffering as a result.

Heart failure affects over 570,000 people in the UK alone. We've found that people who aren't admitted to a cardiology ward often don't receive the specialist care they need, and it's having an effect on their outcome.

Just a quarter of heart failure patients not admitted to a cardiology ward in England and Wales will see a consultant cardiologist during their stay. New figures show they are 54 per cent more likely to die in hospital than those who do receive specialist care.

Our Associate Medical Director Dr Mike Knapton said:

“Heart failure patients can have a worse outlook than many cancer patients. There is currently no cure, but correct management of heart failure can have a huge impact on quality and length of life. It’s disappointing to see half of patients in the UK aren’t getting access to specialist life-extending care.

Correct management of heart failure can have a huge impact on quality and length of life


“Although much progress has been made in recent years, there is still a mountain to climb before we see all heart failure patients receiving the specialist care they deserve.”

People with heart failure can’t pump blood effectively around their body, leaving them struggling to make a cup of tea or have a shower without becoming extremely out of breath. They can feel like they’re drowning because of fluid build-up in their lungs.

There is currently no cure for heart failure. But our research aims to change that. Support us today.

Listen now

Listen to Charlotte Thornett, whose mum Lorraine is battling heart failure, talk on BBC Radio 4 about why our life-saving research is giving her hope